Tag Archives: Human Language Technologies

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.

How do we define DH?

DH is the field in which Humanities and Information Technologies can interact and support each other.

On one side Humanistic competences can help Human Language Technologies to tackle one of the most difficult challenges of the discipline, which is the handling of the semantics of human language texts.

On the other side Information Technologies can support research activities where the analysis of texts and images plays a crucial role and that are traditionally qualified as Humanistic (e.g. Historical and Literary Studies; Cultural Heritage).