An Enhanced Lesk Word Sense Disambiguation algorithm through a Distributional Semantic Model

General info

This software implements a Word Sense Disambiguation algorithm based on the simple Lesk approach integrating distributional semantics to compute the overlap between glosses.

Details about the algorithm are published in the following paper:

Pierpaolo Basile, Annalina Caputo and Giovanni Semeraro. An Enhanced Lesk Word Sense Disambiguation algorithm through a Distributional Semantic Model. Proceedings of COLING 2014, the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers.

If you use this software in writing scientific papers, or you use this software in any other medium serving scientists or students (e.g. web-sites, CD-ROMs) please include the following citation:

@InProceedings{basile-caputo-semeraro:2014:Coling, author = {Basile, Pierpaolo and Caputo, Annalina and Semeraro, Giovanni}, title = {An Enhanced Lesk Word Sense Disambiguation Algorithm through a Distributional Semantic Model}, booktitle = {Proceedings of COLING 2014, the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers}, month = {August}, year = {2014}, address = {Dublin, Ireland}, publisher = {Dublin City University and Association for Computational Linguistics}, pages = {1591--1600}, url = {} }

The adopted knowledge base is BabelNet ver. 1.1 available on-line:


In order to run lesk-wsd-dsm, you must execute the script in the main directory. The script requires the following parameters:

-i input_file: the file which contains the text that will be disambiguated

-o output_file: the file in which you want to save the output

-cm sent|text|doc: indicates how the input text will be read and disambiguated. The available values are: "sent" one sentence per time, "text" one text element per time, "doc" read the full file

-f xml|oldxml|plain: indicates the input file format. The available values are: "xml" for the SemEval-2013 Task 12 file format (, "oldxml" old SemEval XML format, "plain" for plain text. The plain text must contain one token for each line. Each line must contains three values separated by TAB: token, pos-tag, lemma. The pos-tag has four possible values: n (noun), v (verb), j (adjective), r (adverb), any other character for other tags. An example is reported in the text folder

-dsm file_path: the binary file which describes the distributional semantic model (DSM). The model for the English language is available here while the model for the Italian language (Italian language model is in Java format).

-dsmType java|lucene: set the DSM binary file format, java for DataOutputStream created by Java classes or Lucene format (luecene is the default value)

-lang it|en|es|de|fr: the language of the input text, en is the default value

-sc dir_path: the directory which contains information about both synsets probability and synsets occurrences. Files extracted from WordNet are in resources/sense/en/, while files extracted form MultiSemCor for Italian are in resources/sense/it/.

-sdType prob|prob_cross|occ: the function used to score synset. prob=conditional probability, occ=synset frequency, prob_cross=conditional probability computed on a different language

-wikiType lev|uni: the function used to score BabelSynset coming from Wikipedia. lev=Levenshtein similarity between lemmas, uni=uniform probability

-lc decimal:decimal: the weight assigned respectively to the DSM and the Sense Distribution. (default 0.5:0.5).

-sg true|false: enable/disable gloss scoring function (true is the default value)

-sf wn|bn: output synset format: "wn" uses WordNet offset, while "bn" uses BabelNet id (bn is the default value)

-c integer value|max: indicates the context size, "max" considers the whole text

-of plain|task: output format: "plain" uses plain text file to store word meanings, while task uses the file format defined in SemEval-2013 Task 12

-stem true|false: enable/disable glosses stemming

-depth integer value: the depth used to expand the synset gloss exploting related synsets


This example performs Word Sense Disambiguation of the English dataset provided by the SemEval-2013 Task 12 organizers. ./ -i /home/user/semeval-2013-task12-test-data/data/multilingual-all-words.en.xml -o /home/user/semeval-2013-task12-test-data/out/lesk_wsd_dsm_test -cm doc -f xml -dsm ./resources/dsm/termvectors_en.bin -lang en -sc ./resources/sense/sense.freq -sf bn -c max -of task -depth 1

RESOURCES Several resources are used by the algorithm:

BabelNet: you must download and uncompress BabelNet ver. 1.1. Moreover you need to configure the following files: and Details are reported in the properties file. Moreover, you need to download the BabelNet Java API 1.1, uncompress it and copy the resources folder into the main algorithm folder.

Distribution Semantic Models (DSM): a binary file which contains information about the vector space in which words are represented. It is possible to build a DSM from a text file. More information are reported in the class

Sense distribution: a file which contains information about the probability assigned to each WordNet synset. A file for WordNet 3.0 synsets is provided. More information are reported in the class