EVE: explainable vector based embedding technique using Wikipedia

  • M. Atif Qureshi
  • Derek Greene


We present an unsupervised explainable vector embedding technique, called EVE, which is built upon the structure of Wikipedia. The proposed model defines the dimensions of a semantic vector representing a concept using human-readable labels, thereby it is readily interpretable. Specifically, each vector is constructed using the Wikipedia category graph structure together with the Wikipedia article link structure. To test the effectiveness of the proposed model, we consider its usefulness in three fundamental tasks: 1) intruder detection—to evaluate its ability to identify a non-coherent vector from a list of coherent vectors, 2) ability to cluster—to evaluate its tendency to group related vectors together while keeping unrelated vectors in separate clusters, and 3) sorting relevant items first—to evaluate its ability to rank vectors (items) relevant to the query in the top order of the result. For each task, we also propose a strategy to generate a task-specific human-interpretable explanation from the model. These demonstrate the overall effectiveness of the explainable embeddings generated by EVE. Finally, we compare EVE with the Word2Vec, FastText, and GloVe embedding techniques across the three tasks, and report improvements over the state-of-the-art.


Distributional semantics Unsupervised learning Wikipedia 



This publication has emanated from research conducted with the support of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), under Grant Number SFI/12/ RC/2289.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Applied Data Analytics ResearchUniversity College DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.Insight Center for Data AnalyticsUniversity College DublinDublinIreland

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