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What Happens Next? Event Prediction Using a Compositional Neural Network Model

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We address the problem of automatically acquiring knowledge of event sequences from text, with the aim of providing a predictive model for use in narrative generation systems. We present a neural network model that simultaneously learns embeddings for words describing events, a function to compose the embeddings into a representation of the event, and a coherence function to predict the strength of association between two events.

We introduce a new development of the narrative cloze evaluation task, better suited to a setting where rich information about events is available. We compare models that learn vector-space representations of the events denoted by verbs in chains centering on a single protagonist. We find that recent work on learning vector-space embeddings to capture word meaning can be effectively applied to this task, including simple incorporation of a verb’s arguments in the representation by vector addition. These representations provide a good initialization for learning the richer, compositional model of events with a neural network, vastly outperforming a number of baselines and competitive alternatives.

This talk is part of the NLIP Seminar Series series.

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