Context-dependent feature values in text categorization

Edward Kai Fung Dang, Robert Wing Pong Luk, James Allan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Feature engineering is one aspect of knowledge engineering. Besides feature selection, the appropriate assignment of feature values is also crucial to the performance of many software applications, such as text categorization (TC) and speech recognition. In this work, we develop a general method to enhance TC performance by the use of context-dependent feature values (aka term weights), which are obtained by a novel adaptation of a context-dependent adjustment procedure previously shown to be effective in information retrieval. The motivation of our approach is that the general method can be used with different text representations and in combination of other TC techniques. Experiments on several test collections show that our context-dependent feature values can improve TC over traditional context-independent unigram feature values, using a strong classifier like Support Vector Machine (SVM), which past works have found to be hard to improve. We also show that the relative performance improvement of our method over the context-independent baseline is comparable to the levels attained by recent word embedding methods in the literature, while an advantage of our approach is that it does not require the substantial training needed to learn word embedding representations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-1219
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • Context-dependent features
  • Performance evaluation
  • Text categorization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Artificial Intelligence


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