Text Vectors & Word Embedding Reviewed

Text vectors are numerical representations of words, sentences, or even larger units of text. They are used to represent the meaning of text in a way that machines can understand.

A word vector is a real-valued vector, which means that the entries in the vector can be any real number, such as 1.23 or -5.67. The size of the word vector is typically determined by the size of the vocabulary. If the vocabulary contains 10,000 words, then the word vector will be 10,000 dimensions.

For example, the word vector for the word “dog” might look like this:

[0.123, -0.456, 0.789, -1.234, ..., 0.987, -0.567]

Text vectors can be used for a variety of NLP tasks. Here are some examples:

  • Text classification: Text vectors can be used to classify text into different categories, such as spam, ham, or news. For example, a text vector for an email could be used to classify the email as spam or ham.
  • Sentiment analysis: Text vectors can be used to analyze the sentiment of text, such as whether it is positive, negative, or neutral. For example, a text vector for a review could be used to determine whether the review is positive or negative.
  • Document similarity:¬†Text vectors can be used to measure the similarity between documents. For example, text vectors for two news articles could be used to determine how similar the two articles are.


In addition to these tasks, text vectors can also be used for a variety of other NLP tasks, such as question answering, summarization, and chatbots.


Generating Vectors

One Hot Encoding

There are many different ways to create text vectors. One common approach is to use one-hot encoding. In one-hot encoding, each word is represented by a vector that is the same length as the vocabulary. The vector contains a single 1 at the index of the word in the vocabulary, and all other entries are 0.

For example, if the vocabulary contains 10,000 words, then the one-hot vector for the word “dog” would be a vector of 10,000 numbers, with the only non-zero entry being a 1 at index 1000 (the index of the word “dog” in the vocabulary).


Word Embeddings

Another common approach is to use word embeddings. Word embeddings are dense vectors that represent the meaning of words in a more sophisticated way. They are typically learned from a large corpus of text, and they capture the semantic and syntactic relationships between words.

There are many different algorithms for learning word embeddings. Some of the most popular algorithms include Word2Vec, GloVe, and FastText.

Here are some examples of word embeddings:

  • The word “dog” might have an embedding that is close to the embedding of the word “cat”, because these two words are semantically similar.
  • The word “big” might have an embedding that is close to the embedding of the word “large”, because these two words are semantically similar.
  • The word “the” might have an embedding that is close to the embedding of the word “a”, because these two words are syntactically similar.


Use-Cases

Document Similarity

Here are a few different ways to compare word vectors. Here are some of the most common methods:

  • Cosine similarity: Cosine similarity is a measure of the similarity between two vectors. It is calculated by taking the dot product of the two vectors and dividing by the product of their magnitudes. The cosine similarity of two vectors is a number between 0 and 1, where 0 means that the vectors are completely different and 1 means that the vectors are identical.
  • Euclidean distance: Euclidean distance is a measure of the distance between two points in a vector space. It is calculated by taking the square root of the sum of the squared differences between the corresponding entries of the two vectors. The Euclidean distance of two vectors is a number, where 0 means that the vectors are the same and a larger number means that the vectors are more different.
  • Jaccard similarity: Jaccard similarity is a measure of the similarity between two sets. It is calculated by taking the size of the intersection of the two sets divided by the size of the union of the two sets. The Jaccard similarity of two sets is a number between 0 and 1, where 0 means that the sets are completely different and 1 means that the sets are identical.


The best method to use for comparing word vectors depends on the specific task at hand. For example, if you are trying to determine whether two words have similar meanings, then cosine similarity might be a good choice. If you are trying to determine how similar two documents are, then Euclidean distance might be a better choice.

Here are some additional details about the methods for comparing word vectors:

  • Cosine similarity is a very common method for comparing word vectors. It is easy to calculate and it is relatively insensitive to the scale of the vectors.
  • Euclidean distance is another common method for comparing word vectors. It is more sensitive to the scale of the vectors than cosine similarity, but it can be more accurate for some tasks.
  • Jaccard similarity is a less common method for comparing word vectors. It is not as sensitive to the scale of the vectors as cosine similarity or Euclidean distance, but it can be more accurate for some tasks.


Text Classification

In text classification, the goal is to classify text into different categories, such as spam, ham, or news. Word vectors can be used to classify text by comparing the cosine similarity between the word vectors of the text and the word vectors of the different categories.

For example, if you want to classify a text as either spam or ham, you could compare the cosine similarity between the word vectors of the text and the word vectors of the spam category and the word vectors of the ham category. If the cosine similarity between the text and the spam category is higher than the cosine similarity between the text and the ham category, then the text would be classified as spam. Otherwise, the text would be classified as ham.

Here are the steps on how to use word vectors for text classification:

  1. Preprocess the text: The text needs to be preprocessed before it can be used to train a text classification model. This includes removing stop words, stemming words, and tokenizing the text.
  2. Generate word vectors: Word vectors can be generated using a variety of methods, such as Word2Vec, GloVe, and FastText.
  3. Train a text classification model: A text classification model can be trained using a variety of machine learning algorithms, such as logistic regression, support vector machines, and naive Bayes.
  4. Classify new text: Once the text classification model is trained, it can be used to classify new text. This is done by calculating the cosine similarity between the word vectors of the new text and the word vectors of the different categories. The text is then classified into the category with the highest cosine similarity.


Word vectors are a powerful tool for text classification. They can be used to classify text into a variety of categories, and they are relatively easy to use.

Here are some additional details about using word vectors for text classification:

  • The size of the word vectors is important. Larger word vectors can capture more information about the meaning of words, but they can also be more computationally expensive to use.
  • The method used to generate word vectors can also affect the performance of the text classification model. Some methods, such as Word2Vec, are better at capturing the semantic relationships between words, while other methods, such as GloVe, are better at capturing the syntactic relationships between words.
  • The machine learning algorithm used to train the text classification model can also affect the performance of the model. Some algorithms, such as logistic regression, are better at handling imbalanced data, while other algorithms, such as support vector machines, are better at handling nonlinear relationships.


Sentiment Analysis

Text vectors are used for sentiment analysis by representing the text in a way that captures its semantic meaning. This is done by assigning each word in the text a vector representation, such as a bag-of-words or a word embedding. The vector representation of a word captures its meaning by taking into account its relationships with other words in the language.

For example, the word “happy” might be represented by a vector that is close to the vectors for words like “joyful”, “content”, and “cheerful”. This is because these words are all semantically similar, and they are likely to be used in similar contexts.

Once the text has been represented as a vector, it can be used to train a sentiment analysis model. This model will learn to associate different vector representations with different sentiment labels, such as “positive”, “negative”, and “neutral”.

When a new text is encountered, the model can be used to predict its sentiment by calculating its vector representation and comparing it to the vector representations of known positive and negative texts.

There are a number of different ways to represent text as vectors for sentiment analysis. Some of the most common methods include:

  • Bag-of-words: This is a simple method that represents each word in the text as a binary vector. The vector is 1 if the word appears in the text, and 0 otherwise.
  • Term frequency-inverse document frequency (TF-IDF): This method assigns a weight to each word in the text based on its frequency and its overall importance in the corpus.
  • Word embeddings: This is a more advanced method that represents each word as a vector of real numbers. The vector representation of a word captures its meaning by taking into account its relationships with other words in the language.


The choice of which method to use depends on the specific application. Bag-of-words is a simple and efficient method, but it can be less accurate than TF-IDF or word embeddings. Word embeddings are more accurate, but they can be more computationally expensive.

Sentiment analysis is a powerful tool that can be used to understand the emotional tone of text. Text vectors are a key component of sentiment analysis, as they allow the text to be represented in a way that captures its semantic meaning.


Wrapping Up

Text vectors are a powerful tool for representing text in a way that machines can understand. They are used in a wide variety of NLP tasks, and they are becoming increasingly important as NLP technology continues to develop.

I hope this blog post has given you a better understanding of text vectors and word embeddings in the context of NLP. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Here are some additional details about text vectors and word embeddings:

  • Text vectors are typically represented as real-valued vectors. This means that the entries in the vector can be any real number, such as 1.23 or -5.67.
  • The size of the text vector is typically determined by the size of the vocabulary. If the vocabulary contains 10,000 words, then the text vector will be 10,000 dimensions.
  • Word embeddings are typically learned using a neural network. The neural network is trained on a large corpus of text, and it learns to represent the meaning of words in a way that is useful for NLP tasks.


I hope this additional information is helpful.

Google Bard was my co-pilot when writing this article.

Share the Post:

Related Posts