Arabic Word Generation and Modelling for Spell Checking

Shaalan, K., Y. Samih, M. Attia, P. Pecina, and J. van Genabith, "Arabic Word Generation and Modelling for Spell Checking", The eighth international conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'12), Istanbul, Turkey, 24 May , 2012. copy at

Date Presented:

24 May


Arabic is a language known for its rich and complex morphology. Although many research projects have focused on the problem of Arabic morphological analysis using different techniques and approaches, very few have addressed the issue of generation of fully inflected words for the purpose of text authoring.
Available open-source spell checking resources for Arabic are too small and inadequate. Ayaspell, for example, the official resource used with OpenOffice applications, contains only 300,000 fully inflected words. We try to bridge this critical gap by creating an adequate, open-source and large-coverage word list for Arabic containing 9,000,000 fully inflected surface words. Furthermore, from a large list of valid forms and invalid forms we create a character-based tri-gram language model to approximate knowledge about permissible character clusters in Arabic, creating a novel method for detecting spelling errors. Testing of his language model gives a precision of 98.2% at a recall of 100%. We take our research a step further by creating a context-independent spelling correction tool using a finite-state automaton that measures the edit distance between input words and candidate corrections, the Noisy Channel Model, and knowledge-based rules. Our system performs significantly better than Hunspell in choosing the best solution, but it is still below the MS Spell Checker.

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