Category Archives: DDH-Research

Collaboration on data visualization

OK, we know…there is room for improvements in visualization within ALCIDE. For this reason we look forward to continuing our collaboration with @pciuccarelli and @densitydesign!

The first outcome of our collaboration with Density Design Lab is the visualization of our analysis on a subset of Alcide De Gasperi’s corpus developed by their students in Milan: http://www.densitydesign.org/ddfs13/degasperi/

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ALCIDE: co-occurrences and polarity of words

Our group is using the 3D library to graphically visualize co-occurrence networks within ALCIDE. The idea is to combine co-occurrences together with information about polarity of words involved in the network.

For Kennedy’s and Nixon’s speeches we have used SentiWords, a resource provided by FBK containing 155,000 words associated with a sentiment score.

Co-occurrences of the word “war” in Kennedy’s speeches during the 1960 election campaign
Co-occurrences of the word “war” in Nixon’s speeches during the 1960 election campaign

ALCIDE: working on maps

Our main effort today (and not only today!) is on the ALCIDE (Analysis of Languange and Content In a Digital Environment) platform.

The goal of this project is to enhance historical research, in particular the analysis of political discourse, with state-of-the-art natural language processing technologies. In the early stage of the project, we focused on the writings and speeches of Alcide De Gasperi, one of the founders of the Italian Republic. More recently, we have moved to the automatic analysis of 1960 US presidential campaign, processing Kennedy’s and Nixon’s speeches.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore, as an example of ALCIDE’s functionalities, we show below the plot of the different locations covered by the candidates during the presidential campaign. Can anyone explain why Nixon visited only few times the West Coast compared to Kennedy?

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Locations covered by Kennedy during his campaign: marker dimension is related to the number of speeches in each location
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Locations covered by Nixon during his campaign: marker dimension is related to the number of speeches in each location

Based on the place of publication of De Gasperi’s public documents, ALCIDE can also show the places he visited more frequently during his activity. Enjoy!

Heat map of De Gasperi’s writings locations of publication

Temporal Content Annotation

Our group, in collaboration with ILC-CNR, TrentoRise and HLT-FBK, is organizing a task devoted to the EValuation of Events aNd Temporal Information in Italian text within the EVALITA 2014 organization campaign .

In addition to the main task on contemporary news stories, we propose a pilot task on temporal processing of historical texts to promote the application of NLP techniques to the Digital Humanities domain.

For this reason Rachele is annotating De Gasperi’s writings about the outbreak of World War 1 with our tool CAT (Content Annotation Tool) following the It-TimeML specifications.

Screenshot of CAT: annotation of temporal expressions in a writing by De Gasperi dated 1914
Screenshot of CAT: annotation of temporal expressions in a writing by De Gasperi dated 1914

Annotated texts will be used to evaluate the performances of automatic Temporal Processing tools.

Memories of 2013

Before focusing on 2014, let us look back to 2013 when we started our adventure with the new research group devoted to Digital Humanities in Fondazione Bruno Kessler.

In June Sara took part to the DH Summer School in Switzerland:

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Sara at the DH Summer School in Switzerland

In July Rachele attended the CENDARI Summer School in “Historical Sources & Transnational Approaches to European History” in Florence:

Rachele at the CENDARI Summer School
Rachele at the CENDARI Summer School

In September all the group participated to the Researchers’ Night in Trento presenting the fisrt version of the ALCIDE platform:

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Sara, Giovanni and Stefano at the Researchers’ Night

In December Stefano presented his work on readability at the Herrenhausen Conference “(Digital) Humanities Revisited – Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Age”  in Hanover.

2013 ended with our DH Workshop in memory of Emanuele Pianta:

Sara presentation during the DH Workshop in Trento
Sara’s presentation during the DH Workshop in Trento