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Fast paraphrase extraction in Ancient Greek literature

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De Gruyter


In this paper, A shorter version of the paper appeared in German in the final report of the Digital Plato project which was funded by the Volkswagen Foundation from 2016 to 2019. [35], [28]. we present a method for paraphrase extraction in Ancient Greek that can be applied to huge text corpora in interactive humanities applications. Since lexical databases and POS tagging are either unavailable or do not achieve sufficient accuracy for ancient languages, our approach is based on pure word embeddings and the word mover’s distance (WMD) [20]. We show how to adapt the WMD approach to paraphrase searching such that the expensive WMD computation has to be computed for a small fraction of the text segments contained in the corpus, only. Formally, the time complexity will be reduced from O(N·K3·logK)\mathcal{O}(N\cdot {K^{3}}\cdot \log K) to O(N+K3·logK)\mathcal{O}(N+{K^{3}}\cdot \log K), compared to the brute-force approach which computes the WMD between each text segment of the corpus and the search query. N is the length of the corpus and K the size of its vocabulary. The method, which searches not only for paraphrases of the same length as the search query but also for paraphrases of varying lengths, was evaluated on the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae ® (TLG ® ) [25]. The TLG consists of about 75·10675\cdot {10^{6}} Greek words. We searched the whole TLG for paraphrases for given passages of Plato. The experimental results show that our method and the brute-force approach, with only very few exceptions, propose the same text passages in the TLG as possible paraphrases. The computation times of our method are in a range that allows its application in interactive systems and let the humanities scholars work productively and smoothly.


Pöckelmann, Marcus; Dähne, Janis; Ritter, Jörg; Molitor, Paul (2020): Fast paraphrase extraction in Ancient Greek literature. it - Information Technology: Vol. 62, No. 2. DOI: 10.1515/itit-2019-0042. Berlin: De Gruyter. PISSN: 2196-7032. pp. 75-89