The system is based on Princeton University’s WordNet database. WordNet is a lexical database developed by linguists at Princeton’s Cognitive Science Laboratory. The database was designed to inventory, classify and relate the semantic and lexical content of the English language.
WordNet is packaged as an electronic database that can be downloaded over the Internet. WordNet’s underlying foundation is synset (synonym set), a group of interchangeable words that denote a meaning or particular usage. Each synset is one possible meaning of a word, described briefly and concisely. WordNet has a lexicon of over 200,000 perfectly structured and defined English terms. This is one of the pillars of the system conceived by researchers at the UPM’s School of Computing.
The system’s other mainstay are universal words. The concept of universal word came out of the UNL (Universal Networking Language) Project. The aim of this project is to eliminate the barriers of linguistic diversity by creating a medium of information exchange through which users can communicate in their own language.
As the UNL Project’s Spanish Language Centre explains, one of the key concepts of UNL is the universal word. A universal word is a word, taken from the English language, to which a number of attributes and constraints are added to disambiguate the term.
The English term plus the attributes and constraints is known as a universal word, because it has an equivalent term in any other language. On account of their accuracy, one of the uses of universal words is to systematically produce multilingual dictionaries.
Researchers at the UPM’s School of Computing have applied an algorithm based on computational models to the WordNet database and expanded the English language lexicons. The constructed universal words can then be used to compile multilingual dictionaries.
UPM engineers created a Universal Words Dictionary. This dictionary can associate the words of each language with the respective disambiguated universal word. These researchers have managed to develop a tool that people can use to enter a word in their original language and select the equivalent of a set of terms written in their own language in another language. This is a breakthrough for multilingualism.
How does it work?
The ultimate aim is to build extremely precise multilingual dictionaries. The system contains universal words in English taken from the WordNet database. The universal words are passed on to lexicographers from different countries. Each lexicographer reads the universal word in English and understands its given meaning. The lexicographers then add the translation of the term in their mother tongue. To do all this, they do not have to be acquainted with the target language.
Even though the universal words are in English, it is not the same as using English language words, as English is just another natural language liable to ambiguity. The addition of attributes and constraints removes all ambiguity, and the equivalence between languages is extremely good.
This is how this multilingual dictionary is being built. The method has already been tried and tested with striking results. The translations from the universal words created using WordNet are 88% accurate and reliable.
Compared to other lexicographical methods, this is an original system, as it can generate bilingual dictionaries without experts having to speak both languages. All they need, apart from their mother tongue, is a good enough level of English to enter the exact translation of the word they are looking for.
Whereas there are plenty of Spanish-English interpreters, for example, it is harder to find Portuguese-Bulgarian translators, a problem that this system developed by researchers at the UPM obviates.
These bilingual dictionaries based on multiple equivalences of terms are not only useful for building dictionaries but also for supporting search systems in different languages.
Spanish cultural heritage multilingual dictionary
The Validation and Business Applications Group, led by Jesús Cardeñosa, a professor at the School of Computing, is using this system to compile a dictionary of multilingual terms on Spain’s cultural heritage, commissioned by the Ministry of Culture under the Patrilex Project. The project is to be completed by the end of 2008.
The goal of this project is to define a methodology and develop tools that support cultural heritage document search based on multilingual lexical resources. To do this, researchers are developing tools to manage lexical resources about Spain’s cultural heritage. The key tool is a multilingual thesaurus (database).
A thesaurus is a list of terms, possibly composed of more than one word, related hierarchically to each other (general terms and subordinate terms) and used to index and retrieve documents. The thesaurus will be the core for defining semantic relations to establish the underlying context of a query.
The final result will be a search system based on user keyword entries, capable of putting the query into context and establishing a correspondence to equivalent words in other languages. The system will then be able to return documents in several languages that fit the search terms entered in Spanish with a precision unparalleled by current multilingual systems.
The languages used to build the multilingual thesaurus will be Spanish, English and Russian, and the system’s real test-bed will be the Under-Directorate General of Historical Heritage Conservation’s website, which is now exclusively in Spanish. According to the project brief, the methodology will put the accent on the method’s extensibility to other languages.
Eduardo Martínez | alfa
Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences