We propose a novel algorithm for inducing semantic taxonomies. Previous algorithms for taxonomy induction have typically focused on independent classifiers for discovering new single relationships based on hand-constructed or automatically discovered textual patterns. By contrast, our algorithm flexibly incorporates evidence from multiple classifiers over heterogenous relationships to optimize the entire structure of the taxonomy, using knowledge of a word’s coordinate terms to help in determining its hypernyms, and vice versa. We apply our algorithm on the problem of sense-disambiguated noun hyponym acquisition, where we combine the predictions of hypernym and coordinate term classifiers with the knowledge in a preexisting semantic taxonomy (WordNet 2.1). We add 10, 000 novel synsets to WordNet 2.1 at 84 % precision, a relative error reduction of 70 % over a non-joint algorithm using the same component classifiers. Finally, we show that a taxonomy built using our algorithm shows a 23 % relative F-score improvement over WordNet 2.1 on an independent testset of hypernym pairs.
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