Word Embedding Models


The most commonly used word-embedding model is Word2Vec. Its model can be downloaded from their page. To load the model, call:

>>> import shorttext
>>> wvmodel = shorttext.utils.load_word2vec_model('/path/to/GoogleNews-vectors-negative300.bin.gz')

It is a binary file, and the default is set to be binary=True. In fact, it is equivalent to calling, if you have gensim version before 1.0.0:

>>> import gensim
>>> wvmodel = gensim.models.Word2Vec.load_word2vec_format('/path/to/GoogleNews-vectors-negative300.bin.gz', binary=True)

Or beyond version 1.0.0,

>>> import gensim
>>> wvmodel = gensim.models.KeyedVectors.load_word2vec_format('/path/to/GoogleNews-vectors-negative300.bin.gz', binary=True)

Word2Vec is a neural network model that embeds words into semantic vectors that carry semantic meaning. It is easy to extract the vector of a word, like for the word ‘coffee’:

>>> wvmodel['coffee']   # an ndarray for the word will be output

One can find the most similar words to ‘coffee’ according to this model:

>>> wvmodel.most_similar('coffee')

which outputs:

[(u'coffees', 0.721267819404602),
 (u'gourmet_coffee', 0.7057087421417236),
 (u'Coffee', 0.6900454759597778),
 (u'o_joe', 0.6891065835952759),
 (u'Starbucks_coffee', 0.6874972581863403),
 (u'coffee_beans', 0.6749703884124756),
 (u'latt\xe9', 0.664122462272644),
 (u'cappuccino', 0.662549614906311),
 (u'brewed_coffee', 0.6621608138084412),
 (u'espresso', 0.6616827249526978)]

Or if you want to find the cosine similarity between ‘coffee’ and ‘tea’, enter:

>>> wvmodel.similarity('coffee', 'tea')   # outputs: 0.56352921707810621

Semantic meaning can be reflected by their differences. For example, we can vaguely say Francis - Paris = Taiwan - Taipei, or man - actor = woman - actress. Define first the cosine similarity for readability:

>>> from scipy.spatial.distance import cosine
>>> similarity = lambda u, v: 1-cosine(u, v)


>>> similarity(wvmodel['France'] + wvmodel['Taipei'] - wvmodel['Taiwan'], wvmodel['Paris'])  # outputs: 0.70574580801216202
>>> similarity(wvmodel['woman'] + wvmodel['actor'] - wvmodel['man'], wvmodel['actress'])  # outputs: 0.876354245612604


Stanford NLP Group developed a similar word-embedding algorithm, with a good theory explaining how it works. It is extremely similar to Word2Vec.

One can convert a text-format GloVe model into a text-format Word2Vec model. More information can be found in the documentation of gensim: Converting GloVe to Word2Vec


FastText is a similar word-embedding model from Facebook. You can download pre-trained models here:

Pre-trained word vectors

To load a pre-trained FastText model, run:

>>> import shorttext
>>> ftmodel = shorttext.utils.load_fasttext_model('/path/to/model.bin')

And it is used exactly the same way as Word2Vec.

Poincaré Embeddings

Poincaré embeddings is a new embedding that learns both semantic similarity and hierarchical structures. To load a pre-trained model, run:

>>> import shorttext
>>> pemodel = shorttext.utils.load_poincare_model('/path/to/model.txt')


Jayant Jain, “Implementing Poincaré Embeddings,” RaRe Technologies (2017). [RaRe]

Jeffrey Pennington, Richard Socher, Christopher D. Manning, “GloVe: Global Vectors for Word Representation,” Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), pp. 1532-1543 (2014). [PDF]

Maximilian Nickel, Douwe Kiela, “Poincaré Embeddings for Learning Hierarchical Representations,” arXiv:1705.08039 (2017). [arXiv]

Piotr Bojanowski, Edouard Grave, Armand Joulin, Tomas Mikolov, “Enriching Word Vectors with Subword Information,” arXiv:1607.04606 (2016). [arXiv]

Tomas Mikolov, Kai Chen, Greg Corrado, Jeffrey Dean, “Efficient Estimation of Word Representations in Vector Space,” ICLR 2013 (2013). [arXiv]

Radim Řehůřek, “Making sense of word2vec,” RaRe Technologies (2014). [RaRe]

“Probabilistic Theory of Word Embeddings: GloVe,” Everything About Data Analytics, WordPress (2016). [WordPress]

“Toying with Word2Vec,” Everything About Data Analytics, WordPress (2015). [WordPress]

“Word-Embedding Algorithms,” Everything About Data Analytics, WordPress (2016). [WordPress]

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