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A distributional MOdel of Reference to Entities

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "AMORE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: PLACA DE LA MERCE, 10-12
postcode: 8002

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Spain [ES]
 Total cost 1˙499˙805 €
 EC max contribution 1˙499˙805 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-02-01   to  2022-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSIDAD POMPEU FABRA ES (BARCELONA) coordinator 1˙499˙805.00


 Project objective

'When I asked my seven-year-old daughter 'Who is the boy in your class who was also new in school last year, like you?', she instantly replied 'Daniel', using the descriptive content in my utterance to identify an entity in the real world and refer to it. The ability to use language to refer to reality is crucial for humans, and yet it is very difficult to model. AMORE breaks new ground in Computational Linguistics, Linguistics, and Artificial Intelligence by developing a model of linguistic reference to entities implemented as a computational system that can learn its own representations from data.

This interdisciplinary project builds on two complementary semantic traditions: 1) Formal semantics, a symbolic approach that can delimit and track linguistic referents, but does not adequately match them with the descriptive content of linguistic expressions; 2) Distributional semantics, which can handle descriptive content but does not associate it to individuated referents. AMORE synthesizes the two approaches into a unified, scalable model of reference that operates with individuated referents and links them to referential expressions characterized by rich descriptive content. The model is a distributed (neural network) version of a formal semantic framework that is furthermore able to integrate perceptual (visual) and linguistic information about entities. We test it extensively in referential tasks that require matching noun phrases (“the Medicine student”, “the white cat”) with entity representations extracted from text and images.

AMORE advances our scientific understanding of language and its computational modeling, and contributes to the far-reaching debate between symbolic and distributed approaches to cognition with an integrative proposal. I am in a privileged position to carry out this integration, since I have contributed top research in both distributional and formal semantics. '


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Alba Maria Hererra-Palacio,Carles Ventura,Carina Silberer,Ionut-Teodor Sorodoc,Gemma Boleda,Xavier Giro-i-Nieto
Recurrent Instance Segmentation using Sequences of Referring Expressions
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2019 Laura Aina, Carina Silberer, Ionut-Teodor Sorodoc, Matthijs Westera, Gemma Boleda
What do Entity-Centric Models Learn? Insights from Entity Linking in Multi-Party Dialogue
published pages: 3772-3783, ISSN: , DOI: 10.18653/v1/n19-1378
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North 2020-01-24
2019 Marco Del Tredici, Raquel Fernández, Gemma Boleda
Short-Term Meaning Shift: A Distributional Exploration
published pages: 2069-2075, ISSN: , DOI: 10.18653/v1/n19-1210
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North 2020-01-24
2019 Matthijs Westera, Gemma Boleda
Don\'t blame distributional semantics if it can\'t do entailment
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Computational Semantics - Long Papers 2020-01-24
2019 Laura Aina, Kristina Gulordava, Gemma Boleda
Putting Words in Context: LSTM Language Models and Lexical Ambiguity
published pages: 3342-3348, ISSN: , DOI: 10.18653/v1/p19-1324
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics 2020-01-24
2018 Kristina Gulordava, Laura Aina, Gemma Boleda
How to represent a word and predict it, too: Improving tied architectures for language modelling
published pages: 2936-2941, ISSN: , DOI: 10.18653/v1/d18-1323
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing 2020-01-24
2019 Berit Gehrke, Louise McNally
Idioms and the syntax/semantics interface of descriptive content vs. reference
published pages: 769-814, ISSN: 0024-3949, DOI: 10.1515/ling-2019-0016
Linguistics 57/4 2020-01-24
2018 Carina Silberer, Manfred Pinkal
Grounding Semantic Roles in Images
published pages: 2616-2626, ISSN: , DOI: 10.18653/v1/d18-1282
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing 2020-01-24
2017 Abhijeet Gupta, Gemma Boleda, Sebastian Padó
Distributed Prediction of Relations for Entities: The Easy, The Difficult, and The Impossible
published pages: 104-109, ISSN: , DOI: 10.18653/v1/s17-1012
Proceedings of the 6th Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM 2017) 2020-01-24
2017 Matthijs Westera
Questions Under Discussion, brevity, and the asymmetry of alternatives
published pages: 502-510, ISSN: , DOI:
Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium 21 2020-01-24
2018 Matthijs Westera
Rising declaratives of the Quality-suspending kind
published pages: , ISSN: 2397-1835, DOI: 10.5334/gjgl.415
Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 3/1 2020-01-24
2018 Laura Aina, Rafaella Bernardi, Raquel Fernández
A distributional study of negated adjectives and antonyms
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Proceedings of the 5th Italian Conference on Computational Linguistics (CLiC-it 2018) Vol-2253 2020-01-24
2017 Boleda, Gemma; Padó, Sebastian; Pham, Nghia The; Baroni, Marco
Living a discrete life in a continuous world: Reference with distributed representations
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Computational Semantics — Short papers 2020-01-24
2017 Louise McNally, Gemma Boleda
Conceptual Versus Referential Affordance in Concept Composition
published pages: 245-267, ISSN: , DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-45977-6_10
Compositionality and Concepts 2020-01-24
2018 Aina, Laura; Silberer, Carina; Sorodoc, Ionut-Teodor; Westera, Matthijs; Boleda, Gemma
AMORE-UPF at SemEval-2018 Task 4: BiLSTM with Entity Library
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Proceedings of The 12th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation 1 2020-01-24
2018 Pezzelle, Sandro; Sorodoc, Ionut-Teodor; Bernardi, Raffaella
Comparatives, Quantifiers, Proportions: A Multi-Task Model for the Learning of Quantities from Vision
published pages: 419-430, ISSN: , DOI:
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers) 2020-01-24
2017 Gemma Boleda, Abhijeet Gupta, Sebastian Padó
Instances and concepts in distributional space
published pages: 79-85, ISSN: , DOI:
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 2, Short Papers 2020-01-24

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