A Generate and Rank Approach to Sentence Paraphrasing Full text

Malakasiotis Prodromos, Androutsopoulos Ion
In Proceedings of the 2011 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP ‘11), 96 -- 106, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2011
Abstract. We present a method that paraphrases a given sentence by first generating candidate paraphrases and then ranking (or classifying) them. The candidates are generated by applying existing paraphrasing rules extracted from parallel corpora. The ranking component considers not only the overall quality of the rules that produced each candidate, but also the extent to which they preserve grammaticality and meaning in the particular context of the input sentence, as well as the degree to which the candidate differs from the input. We experimented with both a Maximum Entropy classifier and an SVR ranker. Experimental results show that incorporating features from an existing paraphrase recognizer in the ranking component improves performance, and that our overall method compares well against a state of the art paraphrase generator, when paraphrasing rules apply to the input sentences. We also propose a new methodology to evaluate the ranking components of generate-and-rank paraphrase generators, which evaluates them across different combinations of weights for grammaticality, meaning preservation, and diversity. The paper is accompanied by a paraphrasing dataset we constructed for evaluations of this kind.