Journal of Intelligent Information Systems

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 23–47 | Cite as

A hybrid approach for measuring semantic similarity based on IC-weighted path distance in WordNet

  • Yuanyuan Cai
  • Qingchuan ZhangEmail author
  • Wei Lu
  • Xiaoping Che


As a valuable tool for text understanding, semantic similarity measurement enables discriminative semantic-based applications in the fields of natural language processing, information retrieval, computational linguistics and artificial intelligence. Most of the existing studies have used structured taxonomies such as WordNet to explore the lexical semantic relationship, however, the improvement of computation accuracy is still a challenge for them. To address this problem, in this paper, we propose a hybrid WordNet-based approach CSSM-ICSP to measuring concept semantic similarity, which leverage the information content(IC) of concepts to weight the shortest path distance between concepts. To improve the performance of IC computation, we also develop a novel model of the intrinsic IC of concepts, where a variety of semantic properties involved in the structure of WordNet are taken into consideration. In addition, we summarize and classify the technical characteristics of previous WordNet-based approaches, as well as evaluate our approach against these approaches on various benchmarks. The experimental results of the proposed approaches are more correlated with human judgment of similarity in term of the correlation coefficient, which indicates that our IC model and similarity detection approach are comparable or even better for semantic similarity measurement as compared to others.


Concept semantic similarity Intrinsic information content WordNet Edge distance 



The authors would like to thank the reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions. This study is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.61502028), National Key Technology R&D Program of China (No. 2015BAK36B04), Training program foundation for the talents of Beijing (No.2015000020124G029), the Beijing Natural Science Foundation (No. 4172014) and the Research Foundation for Youth Scholars of Beijing Technology and Business University.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

I certify that this manuscript is original and has not been published and will not be submitted elsewhere for publication while being considered by Journal of Intelligent Information Systems. And the study is not split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or one journal over time. No data have been fabricated or manipulated (including images) to support our conclusions. No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were our own. The submission has been received explicitly from all co-authors. And authors whose names appear on the manuscript have contributed sufficiently to the scientific work and therefore share collective responsibility and accountability for the results. In addition, consent to submit has been received explicitly from all co-authors, as well as from the responsible authorities - tacitly or explicitly - at the institute where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted. Authors are strongly advised to ensure the correct author group, corresponding author, and order of authors at submission.

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


This study is funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.61502028), National Key Technology R&D Program of China (No.2015BAK36B04), Training program foundation for the talents of Beijing (No.2015000020124G029), the Beijing Natural Science Foundation (No. 4172014) and the Research Foundation for Youth Scholars of Beijing Technology and Business University.

Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals

There is no human participants or animals involved in this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuanyuan Cai
    • 1
  • Qingchuan Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wei Lu
    • 2
  • Xiaoping Che
    • 2
  1. 1.Beijing Key Laboratory of Big Data Technology for Food Safety, School of Computer and Information EngineeringBeijing Technology and Business UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Software EngineeringBeijing Jiaotong UniversityBeijingChina

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