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Watset: Automatic Induction of Synsets from a Graph of Synonyms

Watset is a local-global meta-algorithm for fuzzy graph clustering. The underlying principle is to discover the word senses based on a local graph clustering, and then to induce synsets using global clustering.

Originally, Watset is designed for addressing the synset induction problem. Despite its simplicity, Watset shows excellent results, outperforming five competitive state-of-the-art methods in terms of F-score on four gold standard datasets for English and Russian derived from large-scale manually constructed lexical resources.

Dependency Status


A synonymy dictionary can be perceived as a graph, where the nodes correspond to lexical entries (words) and the edges connect pairs of the nodes when the synonymy relation between them holds. The cliques in such a graph naturally form densely connected sets of synonyms corresponding to concepts. Given the fact that solving the clique problem exactly in a graph is NP-complete and that these graphs typically contain tens of thousands of nodes, it is reasonable to use efficient hard graph clustering algorithms, like MCL and CW, for finding a global segmentation of the graph.

However, the hard clustering property of these algorithm does not handle polysemy: while one word could have several senses, it will be assigned to only one cluster. To deal with this limitation, a word sense induction procedure is used to induce senses for all words, one at the time, to produce a disambiguated version of the graph where a word is now represented with one or many word senses.

More specifically, the method consists of five steps presented: (1) learning word embeddings; (2) constructing the ambiguous weighted graph of synonyms G; (3) inducing the word senses; (4) constructing the disambiguated weighted graph G' by disambiguating of neighbors with respect to the induced word senses; (5) global clustering of the disambiguated graph.


  author    = {Ustalov, Dmitry and Panchenko, Alexander and Biemann, Chris},
  title     = {{Watset: Automatic Induction of Synsets from a Graph of Synonyms}},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)},
  year      = {2017},
  pages     = {1579--1590},
  doi       = {10.18653/v1/P17-1145},
  address   = {Vancouver, Canada},
  publisher = {Association for Computational Linguistics},
  language  = {english},


This repository contains the implementation of Watset. See LICENSE for details.