The best search experiences feel like they’re one step ahead of you. When you kind “shorts” into the find box at her favorite garments retailer, you obtain a page complete of the brief pants you were looking for, without seeing short-sleeved shirt or quick skirts or, somehow, skorts.

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To deal with the troubles inherent in WordNet and Word2vec, developed a five-step synonym detection algorithm as part of its fusion platform. 

1. Find comparable Search Queries

Rather than start with a set of predetermined synonyms or connected words, the algorithm uses customer behavior as the particle for structure the perform of synonyms. What are human being typing in the search box? and what links do they click on from the list the results?

For example, a page gets 500 clicks once it appears in search outcomes for “apple mac charger.” That very same page likewise gets 200 clicks once it appears in search results for “mac power.” In the case, you have the right to assume that “apple mac charger” and also “mac power” are similar queries, since they cause the same set of results.

2. Ask Pre-Processing

At this stage, there space a few clean-up steps to get down to a usable synonym list. Very first there’s stemming, i beg your pardon reduces various develops of a word under to a common kind (deconstructing connection, connective, connected, and connecting to connect). Climate there’s removing avoid words, or the most common words in a language. Taking out words prefer the, is, at, which, and also on will speed up find performance.

This is also the time to address misspellings. It’s far better to law them as unidirectional synonyms, rather than bi-directional. For this reason “matress” will lead to results because that “mattress,” however not evil versa. Prior to moving on to the following stage, the algorithm additionally changes any type of multi-word phrases right into something it have the right to read together a single word, commonly by placing an underscore in between the words. (mac publication becomes mac_book). 

3. Extract Synonyms

Now that time to traction a set of synonyms out of the cleaned-up user queries. The algorithm find them by in search of words and also phrases that appear before or ~ the exact same word. From the comparable queries “laptop charger” and also “laptop power,” you can deduce that “charger” and also “power” space synonyms, since they both follow “laptop.”

4. Remove the Noise v a Graph Model

At this step, it’s beneficial to usage a graph version to further specify the relationships amongst your group of potential synonyms. Comparable terms room grouped with each other on a graph based on the probability the they’re regarded each other. If indigenous are an extremely likely to be synonyms, they’ll appear close to each other on the graph. And also we recognize they’re regarded one an additional because they end in the same result page – the first step in this process.

A good example would certainly be “mac,” “apple mac,” and also “macbook.” lock close sufficient to it is in grouped together so that any one that them would certainly be considered a synonym for the other. On the various other hand, the graph design would reveal that “LED TV” is similar to “TV,” and also “LCD TV” is comparable to “TV,” however “LED TV” isn’t similar to “LCD TV.”

5. Categorize: Synonym Pair or paper definition Match

The last step looks in ~ the synonym perform to type out true synonyms with words and phrases that complement up through each other in context. The words “earbud” and “earphone” often appearing before and after the brand surname “Bose” provides you high confidence that they’re synonyms. Top top the other hand, “game” and “PlayStation” aren’t synonyms, but they’re associated in context because they consistently show up before and after words “console.”

How go Compare?

The technique doesn’t save on computer a many of fancy data modeling or deep finding out techniques, but the streamlined technique gets results. (Fusion saves the math for predicting following steps.)

In a presentation in ~’ 2018 Activate conference, VP that Data science Chao Han compared the this firm synonym-detection method to the Word2vec technique using the product directory of a national electronics retailer. The technique produced synonyms through 82 percent accuracy, if Word2vec came in at 32 percent.

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“The graph method beats out things favor Word2vec and also comparable deep learning techniques at the moment,” stated Ian Pointer, a senior data engineer at “It shows that yes sir still some power left in traditional NLP techniques.”

Better Synonyms Equal far better Search Results

A well-crafted search leaves people feeling confident and also satisfied, when a search that return a bunch the irrelevant outcomes (or also worse, nothing in ~ all) creates frustration, doubt, and, for retailers, a chance that customers will relocate on to your competitors.

Better synonym detection will constantly be in ~ the core of precise searches, even as new models, choose voice find on smart speakers, auto dashboards, or mobile digital assistants, grow more popular. 

Steve work once said, “Customers don’t recognize what they want until we’ve shown them.” and in a way, it is the real challenge of search: gift able to number out the concern that is really being asked. 


More on automatically Synonym Detection

Technical Dive: find out just how Solr detects synonyms at table of contents or ask time