I am reading this paper for my master thesis and trying to understand every concept in it. The following sentence confuses me as to what is the exact definition of a dictionary in this concept except for the fact that it holds the atoms as its columns?

Recall we refer to the columns of the matrix $A$ as atoms that are later used as building blocks in the construction of $b$. Such a matrix that holds the atoms as its columnsis referred to as a dictionary[...].

  • $\begingroup$ not sure where this use originated but maybe in LSA type apps? take a look at bag of words model $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Sep 9, 2015 at 15:10

1 Answer 1


Yes, as it says, a "dictionary" is just the word they're using for a matrix with entries of a particular type that's used for a particular purpose. They're drfining the term "dictionary" in the text you quote.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer. I saw that definition, just wanted to know if there are any other properties. $\endgroup$
    – Gigili
    Feb 22, 2015 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ They could also be using "dictionary" as a synonym for "Codebook" $\endgroup$ Feb 23, 2015 at 6:16

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