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COVER: a linguistic resource combining common sense and lexicographic information


Lexical resources are fundamental to tackle many tasks that are central to present and prospective research in Text Mining, Information Retrieval, and connected to Natural Language Processing. In this article we introduce COVER, a novel lexical resource, along with COVERAGE, the algorithm devised to build it. In order to describe concepts, COVER proposes a compact vectorial representation that combines the lexicographic precision characterizing BabelNet and the rich common-sense knowledge featuring ConceptNet. We propose COVER as a reliable and mature resource, that has been employed in as diverse tasks as conceptual categorization, keywords extraction, and conceptual similarity. The experimental assessment is performed on the last task: we report and discuss the obtained results, pointing out future improvements. We conclude that COVER can be directly exploited to build applications, and coupled with existing resources, as well.

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  1. 1.

    “When people communicate with each other, they rely on shared background knowledge to understand each other: knowledge about the way objects relate to each other in the world, people’s goals in their daily lives, the emotional content of events or situations. This ‘taken for granted’ information is what we call common sense—obvious things people normally know and usually leave unstated” (Cambria et al. 2010, p. 15).

  2. 2.

    The representational limitation of this ontological resource has also led to the development of hybrid knowledge representation systems, such as, e.g., \(\textsc {Dual{-}PECCS}\)  (Lieto et al. 2017a), that adopts OpenCyc to encode taxonomic information and resorts to different integrated frameworks the task of representing common-sense knowledge.

  3. 3.

  4. 4.

    Of course, not all information available in ConceptNet can be directly mapped onto BSIs (e.g., the compound word “Something you find inside” has no counterpart in BabelNet/NASARI).

  5. 5.

    InstanceOf, RelatedTo, IsA, AtLocation, dbpedia/genre, Synonym, DerivedFrom, Causes, UsedFor, MotivatedByGoal, HasSubevent, Antonym, CapableOf, Desires, CausesDesire, PartOf, HasProperty, HasPrerequisite, MadeOf, CompoundDerivedFrom, HasFirstSubevent, dbpedia/field, dbpedia/knownFor, dbpedia/influencedBy, dbpedia/influenced, DefinedAs, HasA, MemberOf, ReceivesAction, SimilarTo, dbpedia/influenced, SymbolOf, HasContext, NotDesires, ObstructedBy, HasLastSubevent, NotUsedFor, NotCapableOf, DesireOf, NotHasProperty, CreatedBy, Attribute, Entails, LocationOfAction, LocatedNear.

  6. 6.

  7. 7.

    The parameter \(\beta \) has been set to 2 to build the released resource.

  8. 8.

    Presently set to 0.6.

  9. 9.

    The parameters \(\alpha \) and \(\beta \) were set to .8 and .2 for the experimentation.

  10. 10.

    Publicly available at the URL

  11. 11.

    Namely, the 34 domains available in BabelDomains,


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Mensa, E., Radicioni, D.P. & Lieto, A. COVER: a linguistic resource combining common sense and lexicographic information. Lang Resources & Evaluation 52, 921–948 (2018).

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  • Lexical resources
  • Lexical semantics
  • Common sense knowledge
  • Vector representation
  • Concept similarity
  • NLP