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theytendtobemonosemous(impeach,court-martial,moonlight,franchise,
gerrymander,excommunicate,tonameafew). Frequently,theverbsaredenominals
conflatingabasicverb—oftenacommunicationoracognitionverb—andanounfrom
oneoftheareasnamedabove,forexample,petition,quarrel,charm,orveto.
15. WeatherVerbs. Weatherverbsconstitutethesmallestverbfile(66synsets),but
theyaresemanticallyandsyntacticallydistinct. Theyincludemostlyverbslikerainand
thunder,whichareallintransitives(exceptforsuchidiomaticexpressionsasItisraining
catsanddogs). Theydonotselectforanyarguments;theirsubjectisthesemantically
emptyexpletive,it. Manyoftheseverbsarederivedfromtheirhomonymousnouns
(rain,thunder,snow,hail,etc.).
Conclusion
ArelationalanalysisofEnglishverbshasrevealedsomeofthestrikingwaysin
whichverbsdifferfromnounsandadjectives. Therelationsbetweenverbsaredistinct
fromthosebetweenwordsofotherpartsofspeech;ingeneral,theirsemanticsare
considerablymorecomplex. Thepredominanceofdifferentrelationsanddifferent
lexicalizationpatternsinvarioussemanticdomainshasbeendiscussed.
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DesignandImplementationoftheWordNetLexicalDatabase
andSearchingSoftware
RichardBeckwith,GeorgeA.Miller,andRandeeTengi
Lexicographersmustbeconcernedwiththepresentationaswellasthecontentof
theirwork,andthisconcernisheightenedwhenpresentationmovesfromtheprinted
pagetothecomputermonitor. Printeddictionarieshavebecomerelativelystandardized
throughmanyyearsofpublishing(Vizetelly,1915);expectationsforelectroniclexicons
arestillupforgrabs. Indeed,computertechnologyitselfisevolvingrapidly;an
indefinitevarietyofwaystopresentlexicalinformationispossiblewiththisnew
technology,andtheadvantagesanddisadvantagesofmanypossiblealternativesarestill
mattersforexperimentationanddebate. Giventhisdegreeofuncertainty,mannerof
presentationmustbeacentralconcernfortheelectroniclexicographer.
WordNetisapioneeringexcursionintothisnewmedium. Considerableattention
hasbeendevotedtomakingitusefulandconvenient,butthesolutionsdescribedhereare
unlikelytobethefinalwordonthesematters. Itishopedthatreaderswillnotmerely
notetheshortcomingsofthiswork,butwillalsobeinspiredtomakeimprovementsonit.
One’sfirstimpressionofWordNetislikelytobethatitisanon-linethesaurus. Itis
truethatsetsofsynonymsarebasicbuildingblocks,andwithnothingmorethanthese
synonymsetsthesystemwouldhaveallthepowerofathesaurus. Whenshortglosses
areaddedtothesynonymsets,itresemblesanon-linedictionarythathasbeen
supplementedwithsynonymsforcrossreferencing(Calzolari,1988). ButWordNet
includesmuchmoreinformationthanthat. Inanattempttomodelthelexicalknowledge
ofanativespeakerofEnglish,WordNethasbeengivendetailedinformationabout
relationsbetweenwordformsandsynonymsets. Howthisrelationalstructureshouldbe
presentedtoauserraisesquestionsthatoutruntheexperienceofconventional
lexicography.
Indevelopingthison-linelexicaldatabase,ithasbeenconvenienttodividethe
workintotwointerdependenttaskswhichbearavaguesimilaritytothetraditionaltasks
ofwritingandprintingadictionary. Onetaskwastowritethesourcefilesthatcontain
thebasiclexicaldata—thecontentsofthosefilesarethelexicalsubstanceofWordNet.
Thesecondtaskwastocreateasetofcomputerprogramsthatwouldacceptthesource
† Thisisarevisedversionof"ImplementingaLexicalNetwork"inCSLReport#43,prepared
byRandeeTengi. UNIXisaregisteredtrademarkofUNIXSystemLaboratories,Inc. Sun,Sun3
andSun4aretrademarksofSunMicrosystems,Inc. MacintoshisatrademarkofMacintoshLa-
boratory,Inc.licensedtoAppleComputer,Inc. NeXTisatrademarkofNeXT. MicrosoftWin-
dowsisa trademarkofMicrosoftCorporation. . IBMisaregistered d trademarkofInternational
Business Machines Corporation. X X Windows s is a trademark k oftheMassachusetts s Institute of
Technology.DECstationisatrademarkofDigitalEquipmentCorporation.
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filesanddoalltheworkleadingultimatelytothegenerationofadisplayfortheuser.
TheWordNetsystemfallsnaturallyintofourparts:theWordNetlexicographers’
sourcefiles;thesoftwaretoconvertthesefilesintotheWordNetlexicaldatabase;the
WordNetlexicaldatabase;andthesuiteofsoftwaretoolsusedtoaccessthedatabase.
TheWordNetsystemisdevelopedonanetworkofSun-4workstations. Thesoftware
programsandtoolsarewrittenusingtheCprogramminglanguage,Unixutilities,and
shellscripts. Todate,WordNethasbeenportedtothefollowingcomputersystems:
Sun-3;DECstation;NeXT;IBMPCandPCclones;Macintosh.
Theremainderofthispaperdiscussesgeneralfeaturesofthedesignand
implementationofWordNet. The‘‘WordNetReferenceManual’’isasetofmanual
pagesthatdescribeaspectsoftheWordNetsystemindetail,particularlytheuser
interfacesandfileformats. Togetherthetwoprovideafairlycomprehensiveviewofthe
WordNetsystem.
IndexofFamiliarity
Oneofthebestknownandmostimportantpsycholinguisticfactsaboutthemental
lexiconisthatsomewordsaremuchmorefamiliarthanothers. Thefamiliarityofaword
isknowntoinfluenceawiderangeofperformancevariables:speedofreading,speedof
comprehension,easeofrecall,probabilityofuse. Theeffectsaresoubiquitousthat
experimenterswhohopetostudyanythingelsemusttakegreatpainstoequatethewords
theyuseforfamiliarity. Toignorethisvariableinalexicaldatabasethatissupposedto
reflectpsycholinguisticprincipleswouldbeunthinkable.
InordertoincorporatedifferencesinfamiliarityintoWordNet,asyntactically
taggedindexoffamiliarityisassociatedwitheachwordform. Thisindexdoesnot
reflectalloftheconsequencesofdifferencesoffamiliarity—sometheoristswouldask
forstrengthindicesassociatedwitheachrelation—butaccurateinformationonallof
theconsequencesisnoteasilyobtained. Thepresentindexisafirststep.
Frequencyofuseisusuallyassumedtobethebestindicatoroffamiliarity. The
closedclasswordsthatplayanimportantsyntacticrolearethemostfrequentlyused,of
course,butevenwithintheopenclassesofwordstherearelargedifferencesinfrequency
ofoccurrencethatareassumedtocorrelatewith—ortoexplain—thelargedifferences
infamiliarity. Thefrequencydatathatarereadilyavailableinthetechnicalliterature,
however,areinadequateforadatabaseasextensiveasWordNet. ThorndikeandLorge
(1944)publisheddatabasedonacountofsome5,000,000runningwordsoftext,but
theyreportedtheirresultsonlyforthe30,000mostfrequentwords. Moreover,they
defineda‘‘word’’asanystringoflettersbetweensuccessivespaces,sotheircountsfor
homographsareuntrustworthy;thereisnowaytotell,forexample,howoftenlead
occurredasanounandhowoftenasaverb. FrancisandKuc
v
era(1982)tagwordsfor
theirsyntacticcategory,buttheyreportresultsforonly1,014,000runningwordsoftext
—or50,400wordtypes,includingmanypropernames—whichisnotalargeenough
sampletoyieldreliablecountsforinfrequentlyusedwords. (Acomfortablerateof
speakingisabout120words/minute,sothat1,000,000wordscorrespondsto140hours,
orabouttwoweeksofnormalexposuretolanguage.)
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Fortunately,analternativeindicatoroffamiliarityisavailable. Ithasbeenknownat
leastsinceZipf(1945)thatfrequencyofoccurrenceandpolysemyarecorrelated. Thatis
tosay,ontheaverage,themorefrequentlyawordisusedthemoredifferentmeaningsit
willhaveinadictionary. Anintriguingfindinginpsycholinguistics(Jastrezembski,
1981)isthatpolysemyseemstopredictlexicalaccesstimesaswellasfrequencydoes.
Indeed,iftheeffectoffrequencyiscontrolledbychoosingwordsofequivalent
frequencies,polysemyisstillasignificantpredictoroflexicaldecisiontimes.
Insteadofusingfrequencyofoccurrenceasanindexoffamiliarity,therefore,
WordNetusespolysemy. Thismeasurecanbedeterminedfromanon-linedictionary. . If
anindexvalueof0isassignedtowordsthatdonotappearinthedictionary,andifvalues
of1ormoreareassignedaccordingtothenumberofsensesthewordhas,thenanindex
valuecanbemadeavailableforeverywordineverysyntacticcategory. Associatedwith
everywordforminWordNet,therefore,thereisanintegerthatrepresentsacount(ofthe
CollinsDictionaryoftheEnglishLanguage)ofthenumberofsensesthatwordformhas
whenitisusedasanoun,verb,adjective,oradverb.
AsimpleexampleofhowthefamiliarityindexmightbeusedisshowninTable1.
If,say,thesuperordinatesofbroncoarerequested,WordNetcanrespondwiththe
sequenceofhypernymsshowninTable1. Now,ifallthetermswithafamiliarityindex
(polysemycount)of0or1areomitted,whichareprimarilytechnicalterms,the
hypernymsofbroncoincludesimply:bronco@fipony@fihorse@fianimal@fi
organism@
entity. Thisshortenedchainismuchclosertowhatalaymanwould
expect. Theindexoffamiliarityshouldbeuseful,therefore,whenmakingsuggestions
forchangesinwording. Ausercansearchforamorefamiliarwordbyinspectingthe
polysemyintheWordNethierarchy.
WordNetwouldbeabettersimulationofhumansemanticmemoryifafamiliarity
indexcouldbeassignedtoword-meaningpairsratherthantowordforms. Thenountie,
forexample,isusedfarmoreoftenwiththemeaning{tie,necktie}thanwiththe
meaning{tie,tiebeam},yetbotharepresentlyassignedthesameindex,13.
Lexicographers’SourceFiles
WordNet’ssourcefilesarewrittenbylexicographers. Theyaretheproductofa
detailedrelationalanalysisoflexicalsemantics:avarietyoflexicalandsemantic
relationsareusedtorepresenttheorganizationoflexicalknowledge. Twokindsof
buildingblocksaredistinguishedinthesourcefiles:wordformsandwordmeanings.
Wordformsarerepresentedintheirfamiliarorthography;wordmeaningsarerepresented
bysynonymsets—listsofsynonymouswordformsthatareinterchangeableinsome
syntax. Twokindsofrelationsarerecognized:lexicalandsemantic. . Lexicalrelations
holdbetweenwordforms;semanticrelationsholdbetweenwordmeanings.
WordNetorganizesnouns,verbs,adjectivesandadverbsintosynonymsets
(synsets),whicharefurtherarrangedintoasetoflexicographers’sourcefilesbysyntactic
categoryandotherorganizationalcriteria. Adverbsaremaintainedinonefile,while
nounsandverbsaregroupedaccordingtosemanticfields. Adjectivesaredivided
betweentwofiles:onefordescriptiveadjectivesandoneforrelationaladjectives.
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Hypernymsofbroncoandtheirindexvalues
Word
Polysemy
bronco
1
@fimustang
1
@fipony
5
@
horse
14
@fiequine
0
@fiodd-toedungulate
0
@
placentalmammal
0
@fimammal
1
@fivertebrate
1
@
chordate
1
@fianimal
4
@fiorganism
2
@
entity
3
Table1
AppendixAliststhenamesofthelexicographers’sourcefiles.
Eachsourcefilecontainsalistofsynsetsforonepartofspeech. Eachsynset
consistsofsynonymouswordforms,relationalpointers,andotherinformation. The
relationsrepresentedbythesepointersinclude(butarenotlimitedto):
hypernymy/hyponymy,antonymy,entailment,andmeronymy/holonymy. Polysemous
wordformsarethosethatappearinmorethanonesynset,thereforerepresentingmore
thanoneconcept. Alexicographeroftenentersatextualglossinasynset,usuallyto
providesomeinsightintothesemanticsintendedbythesynonymouswordformsand
theirusage. Ifpresent,thetextualglossisincludedinthedatabaseandcanbedisplayed
byretrievalsoftware. Commentscanbeentered,outsideofasynset,byenclosingthe
textofthecommentinparentheses,andarenotincludedinthedatabase.
Descriptiveadjectivesareorganizedintoclustersthatrepresentthevalues,fromone
extremetotheother,ofsomeattribute. Thuseachadjectiveclusterhastwo(occasionally
three)parts,eachpartheadedbyanantonymouspairofwordformscalledaheadsynset.
Mostheadsynsetsarefollowedbyoneormoresatellitesynsets,eachrepresentinga
conceptthatissimilarinmeaningtotheconceptrepresentedbytheheadsynset. One
waytothinkoftheclusterorganizationistovisualizeawheel,witheachheadsynsetasa
hubanditssatellitesynsetsasthespokes. Twoormorewheelsarelogicallyconnected
viaantonymy,whichcanbethoughtofasanaxlebetweenwheels.
TheGrinderutilitycompilesthelexicographers’files. Itverifiesthesyntaxofthe
files,resolvestherelationalpointers,thengeneratestheWordNetdatabasethatisused
withtheretrievalsoftwareandotherresearchtools.
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WordForms
InWordNet,awordformisrepresentedastheorthographicrepresentationofan
individualwordorastringofindividualwordsjoinedwithunderscorecharacters. A
stringofwordssojoinedisreferredtoasacollocationandrepresentsasingleconcept,
suchasthenouncollocationfountain_pen.
Inthelexicographers’filesawordformmaybeaugmentedwithadditional
information,necessaryforthecorrectprocessingandinterpretationofthedata. An
integersensenumberisaddedforsensedisambiguationifthesamewordformappears
morethanonceinalexicographerfile. Asyntacticmarker,enclosedinparentheses,is
addedtoanyadjectivalwordformwhoseuseislimitedtoaspecificsyntacticpositionin
relationtothenounthatitmodifies. EachwordforminWordNetisknownbyits
orthographicrepresentation,syntacticcategory,semanticfield,andsensenumber.
Together,thesedatamakea‘‘key’’whichuniquelyidentifieseachwordforminthe
database.
RelationalPointers
Relationalpointersrepresenttherelationsbetweenthewordformsinasynsetand
othersynsets,andareeitherlexicalorsemantic. Lexicalrelationsexistsbetween
relationaladjectivesandthenounsthattheyrelateto,andbetweenadverbsandthe
adjectivesfromwhichtheyarederived. Thesemanticrelationbetweenadjectivesand
thenounsforwhichtheyexpressvaluesareencodedasattributes. Thesemanticrelation
betweennounattributesandtheadjectivesexpressingtheirvaluesarealsoencoded.
Presentlythesearetheonlypointersthatcrossfromonesyntacticcategorytoanother.
Antonymsarealsolexicallyrelated. Synonymyofwordformsisimplicitbyinclusionin
thesamesynset.Table2summarizestherelationalpointersbysyntacticcategory.
Meronymyisfurtherspecifiedbyappendingoneofthefollowingcharacterstothe
meronymypointer:ptoindicateapartofsomething;stoindicatethesubstanceof
something;mtoindicateamemberofsomegroup. Holonymyisspecifiedinthesame
manner,eachpointerrepresentingthesemanticrelationoppositetothecorresponding
meronymyrelation.
Manypointersarereflexive,meaningthatifasynsetcontainsapointertoanother
synset,theothersynsetshouldcontainacorrespondingreflexivepointerbacktothe
originalsynset. TheGrinderautomaticallygeneratestherelationsformissingreflexive
pointersofthetypeslistedinTable3.
Arelationalpointercanbeenteredbythelexicographerinoneoftwoways. Ifa
pointeristorepresentarelationbetweensynsets—asemanticrelation—itisentered
followingthelistofwordformsinthesynset. Hypernymyalwaysrelatesonesynsetto
another,andisanexampleofasemanticrelation. Thelexicographercanalsoenclosea
wordformandalistofpointerswithinsquarebrackets([...])todefinealexicalrelation
betweenwordforms. Relationaladjectivesareenteredinthismanner,showingthe
lexicalrelationbetweentheadjectiveandthenounthatitpertainsto.
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WordNetRelationalPointers
Noun
Verb
Adjective
Adverb
Antonym
!
Antonym
!
Antonym
!
Antonym
!
Hyponym
~
Troponym
~
Similar
&
Derivedfrom
\
Hypernym
@
Hypernym
@
RelationalAdj.
\
Meronym
#
Entailment
*
AlsoSee
ˆ
Holonym
%
Cause
>
Attribute
=
Attribute
=
AlsoSee
ˆ
Table2
ReflexivePointers
Pointer
Reflect
Antonym
Antonym
Hyponym
Hypernym
Hypernym
Hyponym
Holonym
Meronym
Meronym
Holonym
Similarto
Similarto
Attribute
Attribute
Table3
VerbSentenceFrames
Eachverbsynsetcontainsalistofverbframesillustratingthetypesofsimple
sentencesinwhichtheverbsinthesynsetcanbeused. Alistofverbframescanbe
restrictedtoawordformbyusingthesquarebracketsyntaxdescribedabove. See
AppendixBforalistoftheverbsentenceframes.
SynsetSyntax
Stringsinthesourcefilesthatconformtothefollowingsyntacticrulesaretreatedas
synsets. Notethatthisisabriefdescriptionofthegeneralsynsetsyntaxandisnota
formaldescriptionofthesourcefileformat. Aformalspecificationisfoundinthe
manualpagewninput(5)ofthe‘‘WordNetReferenceManual’’.
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[1]Eachsynsetbeginswithaleftcurlybracket({).
[2]Eachsynsetisterminatedwitharightcurlybracket(}).
[3]Eachsynsetcontainsalistofoneormorewordforms,eachfollowedbya
comma.
[4]Tocodesemanticrelations,thelistofwordformsisfollowedbyalistof
relationalpointersusingthefollowingsyntax:awordform(optionallypreceded
by"filename:"toindicateawordforminadifferentlexicographerfile)followed
byacomma,followedbyarelationalpointersymbol.
[5]Forverbsynsets,"frames:"isfollowedbyacommaseparatedlistofapplicable
verbframes. Theverbframesfollowallrelationalpointers.
[6]Tocodelexicalrelations,awordformisfollowedbyalistofelementsfrom[4]
and/or[5]insidesquarebrackets([...]).
[7]Tocodeadjectiveclusters,eachpartofacluster(aheadsynset,optionally
followedbysatellitesynsets)isseparatedfromotherpartsofaclusterbyaline
containingonlyhyphens.Eachentireclusterisenclosedinsquarebrackets.
ArchiveSystem
Thelexicographers’sourcefilesaremaintainedinanarchivesystembasedonthe
UnixRevisionControlSystem(RCS)formanagingmultiplerevisionsoftextfiles.The
archivesystemhasbeenestablishedforseveralreasons—toallowthereconstructionof
anyversionoftheWordNetdatabase,tokeepahistoryofallthechangesto
lexicographers’files,topreventpeoplefrommakingconflictingchangestothesamefile,
andtoensurethatitisalwayspossibletoproduceanup-to-dateversionoftheWordNet
database. TheprogramsinthearchivesystemareUnixshellscriptswhichenvelopRCS
commandsinamannerthatmaintainsthedesiredcontroloverthelexicographers’source
filesandprovidesauser-friendlyinterfaceforthelexicographers.
Thereservecommandextractsfromthearchivethemostrecentrevisionofagiven
fileorfilesandlocksthefileforaslongasauserisworkingonit.Thereviewcommand
extractsfromthearchivethemostrecentrevisionofagivenfileorfilesforthepurpose
ofexaminationonly,thereforethefileisnotlocked. Todiscouragemakingchanges,
reviewfilesdonothavewritepermissionsinceanysuchchangescouldnotbe
incorporatedintothearchive. Therestorecommandverifiestheintegrityofareserved
fileandreturnsittothearchivesystem.Thereleasecommandisusedtobreakalock
placedonafilewiththereservecommand. Thisisgenerallyusedifthelexicographer
decidesthatchangesshouldnotbereturnedtothearchive. Thewhosecommandisused
tofindoutwhetherfilesarecurrentlyreserved,andifso,bywhom.
GrinderUtility
TheGrinderisaversatileutilitywiththeprimarypurposeofcompilingthe
lexicographers’filesintoadatabaseformatthatfacilitatesmachineretrievalofthe
informationinWordNet. TheGrinderhasseveraloptionsthatcontrolitsoperationona
setofinputfiles. TobuildacompleteWordNetdatabase,allofthelexicographers’files
-69-
mustbeprocessedatthesametime. TheGrinderisalsousedasaverificationtoolto
ensurethesyntacticintegrityofthelexicographers’fileswhentheyarereturnedtothe
archivesystemwiththerestorecommand.
Implementation
TheGrinderisamulti-passcompilerthatiscodedinC.Thefirstpassusesaparser,
writteninyaccandlex,toverifythatthesyntaxoftheinputfilesconformstothe
specificationoftheinputgrammarandlexicalitems,andbuildsaninternalrepresentation
oftheparsedsynsets. Additionalpassesreferonlytothisinternalrepresentationofthe
lexicographicdata. Passoneattemptstofindasmanysyntacticandstructuralerrorsas
possible. Syntacticerrorsarethoseinwhichtheinputfilefailstoconformtotheinput
grammar’sspecification,andstructuralerrorsrefertorelationalpointersthatcannotbe
resolvedforsomereason. Usuallytheseerrorsoccurbecausethelexicographerhasmade
atypographicalerror,suchasconstructingapointertoanon-existentfile,orfailsto
specifyasensenumberwhenreferringtoanambiguouswordform. Passonecannot
determinestructuralerrorsinpointerstofilesthatarenotprocessedtogether.Whenused
asaverificationtool,asfromtherestorecommand,onlypassoneisrun.
Initssecondpass,theGrinderresolvesallofthesemanticandlexicalpointers. To
dothis,thepointersthatwerespecifiedineachsynsetareexaminedinturn,andthe
targetofeachpointer(eitherasynsetorawordforminasynset)isfound. Thesource
pointeristhenresolvedbyaddinganentrytotheinternaldatastructurewhichnotesthe
‘‘location’’ofthetarget. Inthecaseofreflexivepointers,thetargetpointer’ssynsetis
thensearchedforacorrespondingreflexivepointer. Iffound,thedatastructure
representingthereflexivepointerismodifiedtonotethe‘‘location’’ofitstarget,the
originalsourcepointer. Ifareflexivepointerisnotfound,theGrinderautomatically
createsonewithallthepertinentinformation.
Asubsequentpassthroughthelistofwordformsassignsapolysemyindexvalue,or
sensecount,toeachwordformfoundintheon-linedictionary. Thereisaseparatesense
countforeachsyntacticcategorythatthewordformisfoundin. TheGrinder’sfinalpass
generatestheWordNetdatabase.
InternalRepresentation
Theinternalrepresentationofthelexicographicdataisanetworkofinterrelated
linkedlists. Ahashtableofwordformsiscreatedasthelexicographers’filesareparsed.
Lower-casestringsareusedaskeys;theoriginalorthographicwordform,ifnotin
lower-case,isretainedaspartofthedatastructureforinclusioninthedatabasefiles.As
theparserprocessesaninputfile,itcallsfunctionswhichcreatedatastructuresforthe
wordforms,pointers,andverbframesinasynset. Onceanentiresynsethadbeen
parsed,adatastructureiscreatedforitwhichincludespointerstothevariousstructures
representingthewordforms,pointers,andverbframes. Allofthesynsetsfromtheinput
filesaremaintainedasasinglelinkedlist. TheGrinder’sdifferentpassesaccessthe
structureseitherthroughthelinkedlistofsynsetsorthehashtableofwordforms.Alist
ofsynsetsthatspecifyeachwordformismaintainedforthepurposesofresolving
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pointersandgeneratingthedatabase’sindexfiles.
WordNetDatabase
Foreachsyntacticcategory,twofilesrepresenttheWordNetdatabase—index.pos
anddata.pos,whereposiseithernoun,verb,adjoradv(theactualfilenamesmaybe
differentonplatformsotherthanSun-4). ThedatabaseisinanASCIIformatthatis
human-andmachine-readable,andiseasilyaccessibletothosewhowishtouseitwith
theirownapplications.Eachindexfileisanalphabetizedlistofallofthewordformsin
WordNetforthecorrespondingsyntacticcategory. Eachdatafilecontainsallofthe
lexicographicdatagatheredfromthelexicographers’filesforthecorrespondingsyntactic
category,withrelationalpointersresolvedtoaddressesindatafiles.
Theindexanddatafilesareinterrelated. Partofeachentryinanindexfileisalist
ofoneormorebyteoffsets,eachindicatingthestartingaddressofasynsetinadatafile.
Thefirststeptotheretrievalofsynsetsorotherinformationistypicallyasearchfora
wordforminoneormoreindexfilestoobtainalldatafileaddressesofthesynsets
containingthewordform. Eachaddressisthebyteoffset(inthedatafilecorresponding
tothesyntacticcategoryoftheindexfile)atwhichthesynset’sinformationbegins. The
informationpertainingtoasinglesynsetisencodedasdescribedintheDataFiles
sectionbelow.
Oneshortcomingofthedatabase’sstructureisthatalthoughallthefilesarein
ASCII,andarethereforeeditable,andintheoryextensible,inpracticethisisalmost
impossible. OneoftheGrinder’sprimaryfunctionsisthecalculationofaddressesforthe
synsetsinthedatafiles. Editinganyofthedatabasefileswould(mostlikely)create
incorrectbyteoffsets,andwouldthusderailmanysearchingstrategies. Atthepresent
time,buildingaWordNetdatabaserequirestheuseoftheGrinderandtheprocessingof
alllexicographers’sourcefilesatthesametime.
ThedescriptionsoftheIndexandDatafilesthatfollowarebriefandareintendedto
provideonlyaglimpseintothestructure,syntax,andorganizationofthedatabase. More
detaileddescriptionscanbefoundinthemanualpagewndb(5)includedinthe
‘‘WordNetReferenceManual’’.
IndexFiles
Wordformsinanindexfileareinlowercaseregardlessofhowtheywereenteredin
thelexicographers’files. ThefilesaresortedaccordingtotheASCIIcharacterset
collatingsequenceandcanbesearchedquicklywithabinarysearch.
Eachindexfilebeginswithseverallinescontainingacopyrightnotice,version
numberandlicenseagreement,followedbythedatalines. Eachlineofdatacontainsthe
followinginformation:thesensecountfromtheon-linedictionary;alistoftherelational
pointertypesusedinallsynsetscontainingtheword(thisisusedbytheretrieval
softwaretoindicatetoauserwhichsearchesareapplicable);alistofindiceswhichare
byteoffsetsintothecorrespondingdatafile,oneforeachoccurrenceofthewordformin
asynset. Eachdatalineisterminatedwithanend-of-linecharacter.
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested