Text segmentation

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Text Segmentation

– Segmentation problems
– Word segmentation is the process of dividing a string of written language into its component words.
– In some languages, word segmentation is challenging due to the absence of word boundary markers.
– Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Lao, and Vietnamese are examples of languages with non-trivial word segmentation processes.
– German compound nouns show less orthographic variation compared to English compound nouns.
– The Unicode Consortium has published a Standard Annex on Text Segmentation to explore segmentation issues in multiscript texts.

– Word segmentation
– Word segmentation involves dividing a string of written language into its component words.
– The space character is commonly used as a word divider in languages like English.
– Orthographic variation exists in English compound nouns, leading to different ways of writing them.
– Some writing systems, like the Geez script, explicitly delimit words with non-whitespace characters.
– Word splitting is the process of inferring word breaks in concatenated text without word separators.

– Intent segmentation
– Intent segmentation involves dividing written words into keyphrases.
– Core intent or desire serves as the foundation for keyphrase segmentation.
– Keyphrases anchor around core product/service, idea, action, or thought.
– Examples of intent segmentation can be seen in sentences like ‘All things are made of atoms’ divided into keyphrases.
– Intent segmentation helps identify the main purpose or topic of a text.

– Sentence segmentation
– Sentence segmentation involves dividing a string of written language into its component sentences.
– Punctuation, particularly the full stop/period character, is commonly used for sentence segmentation in English.
– Abbreviations pose challenges to sentence segmentation due to the use of the full stop character.
– Plain text processing can benefit from tables of abbreviations to prevent incorrect assignment of sentence boundaries.
– Not all written languages have punctuation characters suitable for approximating sentence boundaries.

– Topic segmentation
– Topic segmentation is the process of dividing a text into different topics or discourse turns.
– It helps improve information retrieval, speech recognition, topic detection, tracking systems, and text summarization.
– Topic boundaries can be apparent from section titles and paragraphs.
– Various techniques, such as HMM, lexical chains, clustering, and topic modeling, have been used for topic segmentation.
– Evaluating text segmentation systems for topic boundaries can be subjective and challenging.

Importance and Applications of Text Segmentation

– Text segmentation is crucial for various natural language processing tasks.
– It helps in improving information retrieval systems.
– Effective text segmentation enhances machine translation systems.
– Text segmentation aids in sentiment analysis.
– It plays a significant role in text summarization techniques.
– Text segmentation is essential for document classification tasks.
– It aids in identifying key topics in large text corpora.
– Text segmentation is used in information extraction systems.
– It plays a role in text-to-speech synthesis for natural prosody generation.
– Segmenting dialogue transcripts is crucial for dialogue systems and conversational agents.

Challenges in Text Segmentation

– Ambiguity in word boundaries poses a challenge in text segmentation.
– Handling domain-specific terms and abbreviations is difficult.
– Dealing with noisy and unstructured text data can be challenging.
– Text segmentation becomes complex in languages with no clear word delimiters.
– Identifying and segmenting multi-word expressions is a challenge.

Approaches to Text Segmentation

– Rule-based methods use linguistic rules to segment text.
– Statistical methods utilize machine learning algorithms for segmentation.
– Hybrid approaches combine rule-based and statistical methods.
– Graph-based algorithms analyze the structure of the text to perform segmentation.
– Neural network models have shown promising results in text segmentation.

Evaluation Metrics for Text Segmentation

– Precision and recall are commonly used metrics for evaluating text segmentation.
– F1 score combines precision and recall into a single measure.
– Boundary error rate measures the accuracy of word boundary detection.
– Segment overlap score evaluates the extent of overlap between predicted and reference segments.
– Normalized edit distance measures the dissimilarity between predicted and reference segments.

Text segmentation (Wikipedia)

Text segmentation is the process of dividing written text into meaningful units, such as words, sentences, or topics. The term applies both to mental processes used by humans when reading text, and to artificial processes implemented in computers, which are the subject of natural language processing. The problem is non-trivial, because while some written languages have explicit word boundary markers, such as the word spaces of written English and the distinctive initial, medial and final letter shapes of Arabic, such signals are sometimes ambiguous and not present in all written languages.

Compare speech segmentation, the process of dividing speech into linguistically meaningful portions.

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