Role of semantic indexing for text classification.
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The Vector Space Model (VSM) of text representation suffers a number of limitations for text classification. Firstly, the VSM is based on the Bag-Of-Words (BOW) assumption where terms from the indexing vocabulary are treated independently of one another. However, the expressiveness of natural language means that lexically different terms often have related or even identical meanings. Thus, failure to take into account the semantic relatedness between terms means that document similarity is not properly captured in the VSM. To address this problem, semantic indexing approaches have been proposed for modelling the semantic relatedness between terms in document representations. Accordingly, in this thesis, we empirically review the impact of semantic indexing on text classification. This empirical review allows us to answer one important question: how beneficial is semantic indexing to text classification performance. We also carry out a detailed analysis of the semantic indexing process which allows us to identify reasons why semantic indexing may lead to poor text classification performance. Based on our findings, we propose a semantic indexing framework called Relevance Weighted Semantic Indexing (RWSI) that addresses the limitations identified in our analysis. RWSI uses relevance weights of terms to improve the semantic indexing of documents. A second problem with the VSM is the lack of supervision in the process of creating document representations. This arises from the fact that the VSM was originally designed for unsupervised document retrieval. An important feature of effective document representations is the ability to discriminate between relevant and non-relevant documents. For text classification, relevance information is explicitly available in the form of document class labels. Thus, more effective document vectors can be derived in a supervised manner by taking advantage of available class knowledge. Accordingly, we investigate approaches for utilising class knowledge for supervised indexing of documents. Firstly, we demonstrate how the RWSI framework can be utilised for assigning supervised weights to terms for supervised document indexing. Secondly, we present an approach called Supervised Sub-Spacing (S3) for supervised semantic indexing of documents. A further limitation of the standard VSM is that an indexing vocabulary that consists only of terms from the document collection is used for document representation. This is based on the assumption that terms alone are sufficient to model the meaning of text documents. However for certain classification tasks, terms are insufficient to adequately model the semantics needed for accurate document classification. A solution is to index documents using semantically rich concepts. Accordingly, we present an event extraction framework called Rule-Based Event Extractor (RUBEE) for identifying and utilising event information for concept-based indexing of incident reports. We also demonstrate how certain attributes of these events e.g. negation, can be taken into consideration to distinguish between documents that describe the occurrence of an event, and those that mention the non-occurrence of that event.