Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 78, Issue 14, pp 19807–19837 | Cite as

Semantic similarity measures for formal concept analysis using linked data and WordNet

  • Yuncheng JiangEmail author
  • Mingxuan Yang
  • Rong Qu


Formal Concept Analysis (FCA) is a field of applied mathematics with its roots in order theory, in particular the theory of complete lattices. It is not only a method for data analysis and knowledge representation, but also a formal formulation for concept formation and learning. Over the past 20 years, FCA has been widely studied. In this paper, the current research progresses and the existing problems of similarity measures in FCA are analyzed. To address the drawbacks of the existing methods, we propose a kind of novel semantic similarity measure for FCA by using Linked Data and WordNet. We aim to develop a method that is fully automatic without requiring predefined domain ontologies and can be used independently of the domain in applications requiring semantic similarity measures in FCA. To realize the semantic similarity estimation for FCA, we firstly extend the similarity assessment methods for resources (or entities) in Linked Data into semantic cases by using WordNet. Furthermore, we propose two kinds of semantic similarity measures (i.e., context-free method and context-aware method) for FCA concepts and concept lattices, respectively. Compared with the existing similarity measure methods in FCA, the proposed approach uses concept of possibility theory to determine lower and upper bounds of similarity intervals. Finally, we evaluate the proposed similarity assessment approaches by applying them to real-worlds datasets.


Semantic similarity Linked data WordNet Possibility theory Formal concept analysis 



The authors would like to thank the anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions which greatly improved the exposition of the paper. The works described in this paper are supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 61772210 and 61272066; Guangdong Province Universities Pearl River Scholar Funded Scheme (2018); The Project of Science and Technology in Guangzhou in China under Grant No. 201807010043; The key project in universities in Guangdong Province of China under Grant No. 2016KZDXM024.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceSouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina

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