WordNet is a large electronic lexical database for English (Miller 1995, Fellbaum 1998a). It originated in 1986 at Princeton University where it continues to be developed and maintained. George A. Miller, a psycholinguist, was inspired by experiments in Artificial Intelligence that tried to understand human semantic memory (e.g., Collins and Quillian 1969). Given the fact that speakers possess knowledge about tens of thousands of words and the concepts expressed by these words, it seemed reasonable to assume efficient and economic storage and access mechanisms for words and concepts. The Collins and Quillian model proposed a hierarchical structure of concepts, where more specific concepts inherit information from their superordinate, more general concepts; only knowledge particular to more specific concepts needs to be stored with such concepts. Thus, it took subjects longer to confirm a statement like “canaries have feathers” than the statement “birds have feathers” since, presumably, the property “has-feathers” is stored with the concept bird and not redundantly with the concept for each kind of bird.


Word Form Semantic Network Domain Ontology Semantic Distance Formal Ontology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Work partially supported by contracts from The Disruptive Technology Office, REFLEX, and the U.S. National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer SciencePrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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