Semiautomatic disabbreviation of technical text

Neil Rowe, Kari Laitinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Abbreviations adversely affect information retrieval and text comprehensibility. We describe a software tool to decipher abbrevations by finding their whole-word equivalents or “disabbreviations”.
It uses a large English dictionary and a rule-based system to guess the most-likely candidates, with users having final approval. The rule-based system uses a variety of knowledge to limit its search, including phonetics, known methods of constructing multiword abbrevations, and analogies to previous abbreviations. The tool is especially helpful for retrieval from computer programs, a form of technical text in which abbreviations are notoriously common; disabbreviation of programs can make programs more reusable, improving software engineering.
It also helps decipher the often-specialized abbreviations in technical captions. Experimental results confirm that the prototype tool is easy to use, finds many correct disabbreviations, and improves text comprehensibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-857
JournalInformation Processing and Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1995
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Semiautomatic disabbreviation of technical text'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this