Semiautomatic construction of cross-period thesaurus

Chaya Liebeskind, Ido Dagan, Jonathan Schler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A cross-period (diachronic) thesaurus enables users to search for information using modern terminology and obtain semantically related terms from earlier historical periods. The complex task of supporting the construction of a diachronic thesaurus by a domain expert lexicographer has hardly been addressed computationally until now. In this article, we introduce a semiautomatic iterative Query Expansion (QE) scheme for supporting diachronic thesaurus construction, which identifies candidate related terms based on statistical corpus-based measures. We use ancient-modern period classification to increase the performance of the statistical cooccurrence measures and extend our methods to deal with Multi-Word Expressions (MWEs). We demonstrate the empirical benefit of our scheme for a Jewish cross-period thesaurus and evaluate its impact on recall and on the effectiveness of the lexicographer's manual efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalJournal on Computing and Cultural Heritage
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 ACM 1556-4673/2016/12-ART22 $15.00.


  • Cultural heritage
  • Diachronic thesaurus
  • Hebrew
  • Semantic similarity


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