Introduction to Categorical Compositional Distributional Semantics
Language and Computation (Introductory)
Second week, from 14:00 to 15:30
We propose to present an introductory course on the emerging field of categorical compositional distributional semantics (informally referred to as the DisCo model). Inspired by quantum protocols, the DisCo model has provided a convincing account of compositionality in vector space models of NLP, unifying the two orthogonal paradigms of formal semantics and distributional models of meaning. The resulting setting has systematically extended the vector space models from words to sentences, enabling them to reason about sentence meaning with the same tools as for word meaning. Based on the rigorous mathematical framework of compact closed categories, the model has made possible novel approaches in language-related problems, and allowed the theoretical study of compositional aspects in distributional models of meaning. The proposed course is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction of the field to students and researchers, covering mathematical and linguistic foundations, past and current research, and discussing advanced topics and open problems.