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Various approaches to text representation for named entity disambiguation

Ivo Lašek (Faculty of Informatics and Statistics, Department of Information and Knowledge Engineering, University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic and Faculty of Information Technology, Department of Software Engineering, Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic)
Peter Vojtáš (Software Engineering, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic)

International Journal of Web Information Systems

ISSN: 1744-0084

Article publication date: 23 August 2013




The purpose of this paper is to focus on the problem of named entity disambiguation. The paper disambiguates named entities on a very detailed level. To each entity is assigned a concrete identifier of a corresponding Wikipedia article describing the entity.


For such a fine‐grained disambiguation a correct representation of the context is crucial. The authors compare various context representations: bag of words representation, linguistic representation and structured co‐occurrence representation. Models for each representation are described and evaluated. They also investigate the possibilities of multilingual named entity disambiguation.


Based on this evaluation, the structured co‐occurrence representation provides the best disambiguation results. It showed up that this method could be successfully applied also on other languages, not only on English.

Research limitations/implications

Despite its good results the structured co‐occurrence context representation has several limitations. It trades precision for recall, which might not be desirable in some use cases. Also it is not able to disambiguate two different types of entities, which are mentioned under the same name in the same text. These limitations can be overcome by combination with other described methods.

Practical implications

The authors provide a ready‐made web service, which can be directly plugged in existing applications using a REST interface.


The paper proposes a new approach to named entity disambiguation exploiting various context representation models (bag of words, linguistic and structural representation). The authors constructed a comprehensive dataset based on all English Wikipedia articles for named entity disambiguation. They evaluated and compared the individual context representation models on this dataset. They evaluate the support of multiple languages.



Lašek, I. and Vojtáš, P. (2013), "Various approaches to text representation for named entity disambiguation", International Journal of Web Information Systems, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 242-259.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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