Statistical Properties of Overlapping Ambiguities in Chinese Word Segmentation and a Strategy for Their Disambiguation

  • Wei Qiao
  • Maosong Sun
  • Wolfgang Menzel
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5246)


Overlapping ambiguity is a major ambiguity type in Chinese word segmentation. In this paper, the statistical properties of overlapping ambiguities are intensively studied based on the observations from a very large balanced general-purpose Chinese corpus. The relevant statistics are given from different perspectives. The stability of high frequent maximal overlapping ambiguities is tested based on statistical observations from both general-purpose corpus and domain-specific corpora. A disambiguation strategy for overlapping ambiguities, with a predefined solution for each of the 5,507 pseudo overlapping ambiguities, is proposed consequently, suggesting that over 42% of overlapping ambiguities in Chinese running text could be solved without making any error. Several state-of-the-art word segmenters are used to make comparisons on solving these overlapping ambiguities. Preliminary experiments show that about 2% of the 5,507 pseudo ambiguities which are mistakenly segmented by these segmenters can be properly treated by the proposed strategy.


Overlapping ambiguity statistical property disambiguation strategy domain-specific corpora 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Qiao
    • 1
  • Maosong Sun
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Menzel
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Intelligent Technology and Systems Tsinghua National Laboratory for Information Science and Technology Department of Computer Sci. & Tech.Tsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of InformatikHamburg UniversityHamburgGermany

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