Recent Trends in Computational Terminology
  • ISSN 0929-9971
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9994


In this article, we present an approach to the automatic discovery of term similarities, which may serve as a basis for a number of term-oriented knowledge mining tasks. The method for term comparison combines internal (lexical similarity) and two types of external criteria (syntactic and contextual similarities). Lexical similarity is based on sharing lexical constituents (i.e. term heads and modifiers). Syntactic similarity relies on a set of specific lexico-syntactic co-occurrence patterns indicating the parallel usage of terms (e.g., within an enumeration or within a term coordination/conjunction structure), while contextual similarity is based on the usage of terms in similar contexts. Such contexts are automatically identified by a pattern mining approach, and a procedure is proposed to assess their domain-specific and terminological relevance. Although automatically collected, these patterns are domain dependent and identify contexts in which terms are used. Different types of similarities are combined into a hybrid similarity measure, which can be tuned for a specific domain by learning optimal weights for individual similarities. The suggested similarity measure has been tested in the domain of biomedicine, and some experiments are presented.


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