Lexical ambiguity within an application perspective

Piek Vossen (Irion Technologies, Delft)

Irion Technologies is a language-technology company in Delft that develops various concept-based applications, such as: retrieval, mining and dialogue systems. The notion of a concept is based on a wordnet-like database, derived from the Van Dale dictionaries. This database consists of concepts with semantic relations and their lexicalization in 7 European languages. One of the major-problems for using wordnets in these applications is lexical ambiguity. In the EU-project MEANING, we have shown that we can handle this problem by introducing another conceptual level: the linguistic phrase. We have shown that restricted disambiguation in combination with a phrase-representation can significantly increase precision and even double effectivity of retrieval.

Retrieval is seen as a stepping-stone technology for more sophisticated systems. Dialogue systems not only create more context for disambiguating the queries from users, they also allow to detect the intention of a user. I will give a short perspective of the kind of systems that we are developing for the future.