Marco Maru


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Fully-Semantic Parsing and Generation: the BabelNet Meaning Representation
Abelardo Carlos Martínez Lorenzo | Marco Maru | Roberto Navigli
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

A language-independent representation of meaning is one of the most coveted dreams in Natural Language Understanding. With this goal in mind, several formalisms have been proposed as frameworks for meaning representation in Semantic Parsing. And yet, the dependencies these formalisms share with respect to language-specific repositories of knowledge make the objective of closing the gap between high- and low-resourced languages hard to accomplish. In this paper, we present the BabelNet Meaning Representation (BMR), an interlingual formalism that abstracts away from language-specific constraints by taking advantage of the multilingual semantic resources of BabelNet and VerbAtlas. We describe the rationale behind the creation of BMR and put forward BMR 1.0, a dataset labeled entirely according to the new formalism. Moreover, we show how BMR is able to outperform previous formalisms thanks to its fully-semantic framing, which enables top-notch multilingual parsing and generation. We release the code at

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Nibbling at the Hard Core of Word Sense Disambiguation
Marco Maru | Simone Conia | Michele Bevilacqua | Roberto Navigli
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

With state-of-the-art systems having finally attained estimated human performance, Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD) has now joined the array of Natural Language Processing tasks that have seemingly been solved, thanks to the vast amounts of knowledge encoded into Transformer-based pre-trained language models. And yet, if we look below the surface of raw figures, it is easy to realize that current approaches still make trivial mistakes that a human would never make. In this work, we provide evidence showing why the F1 score metric should not simply be taken at face value and present an exhaustive analysis of the errors that seven of the most representative state-of-the-art systems for English all-words WSD make on traditional evaluation benchmarks.In addition, we produce and release a collection of test sets featuring (a) an amended version of the standard evaluation benchmark that fixes its lexical and semantic inaccuracies, (b) 42D, a challenge set devised to assess the resilience of systems with respect to least frequent word senses and senses not seen at training time, and (c) hardEN, a challenge set made up solely of instances which none of the investigated state-of-the-art systems can solve. We make all of the test sets and model predictions available to the research community at

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SemEval-2022 Task 9: R2VQ – Competence-based Multimodal Question Answering
Jingxuan Tu | Eben Holderness | Marco Maru | Simone Conia | Kyeongmin Rim | Kelley Lynch | Richard Brutti | Roberto Navigli | James Pustejovsky
Proceedings of the 16th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2022)

In this task, we identify a challenge that is reflective of linguistic and cognitive competencies that humans have when speaking and reasoning. Particularly, given the intuition that textual and visual information mutually inform each other for semantic reasoning, we formulate a Competence-based Question Answering challenge, designed to involve rich semantic annotation and aligned text-video objects. The task is to answer questions from a collection of cooking recipes and videos, where each question belongs to a “question family” reflecting a specific reasoning competence. The data and task result is publicly available.


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Generationary or “How We Went beyond Word Sense Inventories and Learned to Gloss”
Michele Bevilacqua | Marco Maru | Roberto Navigli
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Mainstream computational lexical semantics embraces the assumption that word senses can be represented as discrete items of a predefined inventory. In this paper we show this needs not be the case, and propose a unified model that is able to produce contextually appropriate definitions. In our model, Generationary, we employ a novel span-based encoding scheme which we use to fine-tune an English pre-trained Encoder-Decoder system to generate glosses. We show that, even though we drop the need of choosing from a predefined sense inventory, our model can be employed effectively: not only does Generationary outperform previous approaches in the generative task of Definition Modeling in many settings, but it also matches or surpasses the state of the art in discriminative tasks such as Word Sense Disambiguation and Word-in-Context. Finally, we show that Generationary benefits from training on data from multiple inventories, with strong gains on various zero-shot benchmarks, including a novel dataset of definitions for free adjective-noun phrases. The software and reproduction materials are available at

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Personalized PageRank with Syntagmatic Information for Multilingual Word Sense Disambiguation
Federico Scozzafava | Marco Maru | Fabrizio Brignone | Giovanni Torrisi | Roberto Navigli
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

Exploiting syntagmatic information is an encouraging research focus to be pursued in an effort to close the gap between knowledge-based and supervised Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD) performance. We follow this direction in our next-generation knowledge-based WSD system, SyntagRank, which we make available via a Web interface and a RESTful API. SyntagRank leverages the disambiguated pairs of co-occurring words included in SyntagNet, a lexical-semantic combination resource, to perform state-of-the-art knowledge-based WSD in a multilingual setting. Our service provides both a user-friendly interface, available at, and a RESTful endpoint to query the system programmatically (accessible at


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SyntagNet: Challenging Supervised Word Sense Disambiguation with Lexical-Semantic Combinations
Marco Maru | Federico Scozzafava | Federico Martelli | Roberto Navigli
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Current research in knowledge-based Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD) indicates that performances depend heavily on the Lexical Knowledge Base (LKB) employed. This paper introduces SyntagNet, a novel resource consisting of manually disambiguated lexical-semantic combinations. By capturing sense distinctions evoked by syntagmatic relations, SyntagNet enables knowledge-based WSD systems to establish a new state of the art which challenges the hitherto unrivaled performances attained by supervised approaches. To the best of our knowledge, SyntagNet is the first large-scale manually-curated resource of this kind made available to the community (at