Although always present in text, word sense ambiguity only recently became regarded as a problem to information\ud retrieval which was potentially solvable. The growth of interest in word senses resulted from new directions taken in\ud disambiguation research. This paper first outlines this research and surveys the resulting efforts in information\ud retrieval. Although the majority of attempts to improve retrieval effectiveness were unsuccessful, much was learnt\ud from the research. Most notably a notion of under what circumstance disambiguation may prove of use to retrieval
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