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The gravity of meaning: Physics as a metaphor to model semantic changes
University of Borås, Swedish School of Library and Information Science.
University of Borås, Swedish School of Library and Information Science.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Based on a computed toy example, we offer evidence that by plugging in similarity of word meaning as a force plus a small modification of Newton’s 2nd law, one can acquire specific “mass” values for index terms in a Saltonesque dynamic library environment. The model can describe two types of change which affect the semantic composition of document collections: the expansion of a corpus due to its update, and fluctuations of the gravitational potential energy field generated by normative language use as an attractor juxtaposed with actual language use yielding time-dependent term frequencies. By the evolving semantic potential of a vocabulary and concatenating the respective term “mass” values, one can model sentences or longer strings of symbols as vector-valued functions. Since the line integral of such functions is used to express the work of a particle in a gravitational field, the work equivalent of strings can be calculated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keyword [en]
Library and Information Science
National Category
Computer Science Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-6891Local ID: 2320/11739OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-6891DiVA: diva2:887598
Conference
The Fourth Swedish Language Technology Conference (SLTC-2012)
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2017-01-22Bibliographically approved

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Darányi, SándorWittek, Peter
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  • apa
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