Automatic Creation of a Semantic Network Encoding part_of Relations

Volume 16
Issue 4
Michael Zock & Debela Tesfaye
We describe here the principles underlying the automatic creation of a semantic map to support navigation in a lexicon. Whenever we read a book, write a letter, or launch a query on Google, we always use words, the short- hand labels for more or less well-specified thoughts. The problem is that words may refuse to come to our mind when we need them most, at the very moment of speaking or writing. This is when we tend to reach for a dictionary. Yet, even dictionaries may fail to reveal the target word, although they contain them. This is not only a problem of input (poor query word), but also a problem of design : the way how words are organized and the kind of information associated to each one of them. We will consider in this paper one of the most original hand-crafted resources, WordNet, discussing its relative strengths and weaknesses with respect to word access. We will then describe an attempt to build automatically a subset of this resource, to conclude with the presentation of an approach meant to help authors (speakers/writers) to overcome the tip-of-the-tongue-problem (TOT) even in cases where other resources, including Wordnet or Roget’s Thesaurus, would fail. 

Key words: Lexical access, navigation, word association, lexical graphs, automatic link extraction, part-of relations, meronyms.