Semantic spaces: measuring the distance between different subspaces

Guido Zuccon, Leif A. Azzopardi, C. J. Rijsbergen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

24 Citations (Scopus)


Semantic Space models, which provide a numerical representation of words’ meaning extracted from corpus of documents, have been formalized in terms of Hermitian operators over real valued Hilbert spaces by Bruza et al. [1]. The collapse of a word into a particular meaning has been investigated applying the notion of quantum collapse of superpositional states [2]. While the semantic association between words in a Semantic Space can be computed by means of the Minkowski distance [3] or the cosine of the angle between the vector representation of each pair of words, a new procedure is needed in order to establish relations between two or more Semantic Spaces. We address the question: how can the distance between different Semantic Spaces be computed? By representing each Semantic Space as a subspace of a more general Hilbert space, the relationship between Semantic Spaces can be computed by means of the subspace distance. Such distance needs to take into account the difference in the dimensions between subspaces. The availability of a distance for comparing different Semantic Subspaces would enable to achieve a deeper understanding about the geometry of Semantic Spaces which would possibly translate into better effectiveness in Information Retrieval tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuantum Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationThird International Symposium, QI 2009, Saarbrücken, Germany, March 25-27, 2009. Proceedings
EditorsPeter Bruza, Donald Sofge, William Lawless, Keith van Rijsbergen, Matthias Klusch
Place of PublicationBerlin, Heidelberg
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-00833-7
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer Verlag


  • semantic space models
  • information retrieval
  • semantic subspaces

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