Language Resources and Evaluation

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 891–917 | Cite as

On the evaluation and improvement of Arabic WordNet coverage and usability

  • Lahsen AbouenourEmail author
  • Karim Bouzoubaa
  • Paolo Rosso
Original Paper


Built on the basis of the methods developed for Princeton WordNet and EuroWordNet, Arabic WordNet (AWN) has been an interesting project which combines WordNet structure compliance with Arabic particularities. In this paper, some AWN shortcomings related to coverage and usability are addressed. The use of AWN in question/answering (Q/A) helped us to deeply evaluate the resource from an experience-based perspective. Accordingly, an enrichment of AWN was built by semi-automatically extending its content. Indeed, existing approaches and/or resources developed for other languages were adapted and used for AWN. The experiments conducted in Arabic Q/A have shown an improvement of both AWN coverage as well as usability. Concerning coverage, a great amount of named entities extracted from YAGO were connected with corresponding AWN synsets. Also, a significant number of new verbs and nouns (including Broken Plural forms) were added. In terms of usability, thanks to the use of AWN, the performance for the AWN-based Q/A application registered an overall improvement with respect to the following three measures: accuracy (+9.27 % improvement), mean reciprocal rank (+3.6 improvement) and number of answered questions (+12.79 % improvement).


Arabic WordNet Hyponymy extraction Maximal frequent sequence WordNet-based application 



The work presented in Sect. 2.2 was done in the framework of the bilateral Spain-Morocco AECID-PCI C/026728/09 research project. The research of the two first authors is done in the framework of the PROGRAMME D’URGENCE project (grant no. 03/2010). The research of the third author is done in the framework of WIQEI IRSES project (grant no. 269180) within the FP 7 Marie Curie People, DIANA-APPLICATIONS—Finding Hidden Knowledge in Texts: Applications (TIN2012-38603-C02-01) research project and VLC/CAMPUS Microcluster on Multimodal Interaction in Intelligent Systems. We would like to thank Manuel Montes-y-Gomez (INAOE-Puebla, Mexico) and Sandra García-Blasco (Bitsnbrain, Spain) for their feedback on the work presented in Sect. 2.4. We would like finally to thank Violetta Cavalli-Sforza (Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco) for having reviewed the linguistic level of the entire document.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lahsen Abouenour
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karim Bouzoubaa
    • 1
  • Paolo Rosso
    • 2
  1. 1.Mohammadia School of EngineersMohammed V University-AgdalRabatMorocco
  2. 2.Natural Language Engineering Lab., ELiRFUniversitat Politècnica de ValènciaValenciaSpain

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