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Speakers: Simone Ponzetto, Hiram Kümper, Federico Nanni (University of Mannheim)
Title: Beyond Word Clouds: Combining Entities and Topics for Fine-Grained Analyses of Historical Texts
Date: August 25th 2016, 12 PM – 1 PM
Location: Seminar room 1, Papendiek 16 (Heynehaus), Göttingen
Future historians will describe the rise of the World Wide Web as the turning point of their academic profession. As a matter of fact, thanks to an unprecedented amount of digitization projects and to the preservation of born-digital sources, for the first time they have at their disposal a gigantic collection of traces of our past. However, to obtain useful insights from these very large amounts of data, historians will need more and more fine-grained techniques. For this reason, at the Data and Web Science Group, we focus on developing approaches that can sustain researchers moving from text exploration studies towards hypothesis-testing researches. These solutions benefit from the combination of entity linking and topic models, among other methods. Additionally, we also believe that historians who intend to employ computational methods as evidences for supporting a claim, have to use computational methods not anymore as black boxes but as a series of well known methodological approaches. For this reason, the second goal of our research group is to stress the importance of tool evaluation in digital history. In our talk, we will present an overview of some of the works we conducted so far, in collaboration with the Historical Institute and the Political Science Department of the University of Mannheim.