Multilingual Label propagatioN for Word Sense Disambiguation


The knowledge acquisition bottleneck strongly affects the creation of multilingual sense-annotated data, hence limiting the power of supervised systems when applied to multilingual Word Sense Disambiguation. In this paper, we propose a semi-supervised approach based upon a novel label propagation scheme, which, by jointly leveraging contextualized word embeddings and the multilingual information enclosed in a knowledge base, projects sense labels from a high-resource language, i.e., English, to lower-resourced ones. Backed by several experiments, we provide empirical evidence that our automatically created datasets are of a higher quality than those generated by other competitors and lead a supervised model to achieve state-of-the-art performances in all multilingual Word Sense Disambiguation tasks. We make our datasets available for research purposes at


MuLaN: Multilingual Label propagatioN for Word Sense Disambiguation

  title     = {Mu{L}a{N}: Multilingual Label propagatio{N} for Word Sense Disambiguation},
  author    = {Barba, Edoardo and Procopio, Luigi and Campolungo, Niccolò and Pasini, Tommaso and Navigli, Roberto},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth International Joint Conference on
               Artificial Intelligence, {IJCAI-20}},
  publisher = {International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence Organization},             
  pages     = {3837--3844},
  year      = {2020},
  month     = {7},
  doi       = {10.24963/ijcai.2020/531},
  url       = {},


Edoardo Barba
PhD student @ Sapienza
barba [at]

Luigi Procopio
PhD student @ Sapienza
procopio [at]

Niccolò Campolungo
PhD student @ Sapienza
campolungo [at]

Tommaso Pasini
Post-Doc @ Sapienza
pasini [at]

Roberto Navigli
Full Professor @ Sapienza
navigli [at]


The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the ERC Consolidator Grant MOUSSE No. 726487 under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

This work has also been supported by the PerLIR project (Personal Linguistic resources in Information Retrieval) funded by the MIUR Progetti di ricerca di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale programme (PRIN 2017).


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