Context Space

Hinrich Schutze

Tile representation of documents and queries as vectors in space is a well-known information retrieval paradigm (Salton and McGill, 1983). This paper suggests that the context or topic at a given point in a text can also be represented as a vector. A procedure for computing context vectors is introduced and applied to disambiguating ten English words with success rates between 89% and 95%. The structure of context space is analyzed. The paper argues that vectors with their potential for gradedness may be superior for some purposes to other representational schemes.

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