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Distributional Measures of Semantic Distance: A Survey

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Executive Summary

The ability to mimic human notions of semantic distance has widespread applications. Some measures rely only on raw text (distributional measures) and some rely on knowledge sources such as WordNet. Although extensive studies have been performed to compare WordNet-based measures with human judgment, the use of distributional measures as proxies to estimate semantic distance has received little attention. Even though they have traditionally performed poorly when compared to WordNet-based measures, they lay claim to certain uniquely attractive features, such as their applicability in resource-poor languages and their ability to mimic both semantic similarity and semantic relatedness.

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