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How difficult is it to develop a perfect spell-checker? A cross-linguistic analysis through complex network approach

Monojit Choudhury
Markose Thomas
Animesh Mukherjee
Niloy Ganguly
Anupam Basu
Textgraphs 2 Workshop, at HLT/NAACL, ACL (2007), pp. 8


The difficulties involved in spelling error detection and correction in a language have been investigated in this work through the conceptualization of SpellNet - a weighted network of words, where edges indicate orthographic proximity between two words. We construct SpellNets for three languages - Bengali, English and Hindi. Through appropriate mathematical analysis and/or intuitive justification, we interpret the different topological metrics of SpellNet from the perspective of the issues related to spell-checking. We make many interesting observations, the most significant being that the probability of making a read word error in a language is proportionate to the average weighted degree of SpellNet, which is found to be highest for Hindi, followed by Bengali and English.