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Posts Tagged ‘NLP’

After a brief hiatus, I’m pleased to say that we will shortly be relaunching the London Text Analytics meetup. As many of you know, in the recent past we have organized some relatively large and ambitious events at a variety of locations. But we have struggled to find a regular venue, and as a result have had difficulty in maintaining a scheduled programme of events.

What we really need is a venue we can use on a more regular schedule, ideally on an ex-gratia basis. It doesn’t have to be huge – in fact; a programme of smaller (but more frequent) meetups is in many ways preferable to a handful of big gatherings.

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textmining

I received a pleasant surprise in the post today: my personal copy of Text Mining and Visualization: Case Studies Using Open-Source Tools, edited by Markus Hofmann and Andrew Chisholm. Now I don’t normally blog about books, since as editor of Informer there was a time when I would be sent all manner of titles for inspection and review. But I’ll make an exception here. This is partially since Chapter 7 is my own contribution (on mining search logs), as discussed in my earlier blog posts. This is complemented by 11 other chapters, covering a variety of topics organised into four sections:

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Diana Maynard entertains the masses

Diana Maynard entertains the troops

Last week I had the privilege of organising the 13th meeting of the London Text Analytics group, which featured two excellent speakers: Despo Georgiou of Atos SE and Diana Maynard of Sheffield University. Despo’s talk described her internship at UXLabs where she compared a number of tools for analysing free-text survey responses (namely TheySay, Semantria, Google Prediction API and Weka). Diana’s talk focused on sentiment analysis applied to social media, and entertained the 70+ audience with all manner of insights based on her expertise of having worked on the topic for longer than just about anyone I know. Well done to both speakers!

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I need to compare two text classifiers – one human, one machine. They are assigning multiple tags from an ontology. We have an initial corpus of ~700 records tagged by both classifiers. The goal is to measure the ‘value added’ by the human. However, we don’t yet have any ground truth data (i.e. agreed annotations).

Any ideas on how best to approach this problem in a commercial environment (i.e. quickly, simply, with minimum fuss), or indeed what’s possible?

I thought of measuring the absolute delta between the two profiles (regardless of polarity) to give a ceiling on the value added, and/or comparing the profile of tags added by each human coder against the centroid to give a crude measure of inter-coder agreement (and hence difficulty of the task). But neither really measures the ‘value added’ that I’m looking for, so I’m sure there must better solutions.

Suggestions, anyone? Or is this as far as we can go without ground truth data?

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Earlier this week I had the privilege of attending the Text Analytics Summit Europe at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. Some of you may of course recognise this hotel as the base for Justin Bieber’s recent visit to London, but sadly (or is that fortunately?) he didn’t join us. Next time, maybe…

Still, the event was highly enjoyable, and served as visible testament of increasing maturity in the industry. When I did my PhD in natural language processing some *cough* years ago there really wasn’t a lot happening outside of academia – the best you’d get in mentioning ‘NLP’ to someone was an assumption that you’d fallen victim to some new age psychobabble. So it’s great to see the discipline finally ‘going mainstream’ and enjoying attention from a healthy cross section of society. Sadly I wasn’t able to attend the whole event, but  here’s a few of the standouts for me:

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Interested in text analytics / natural language processing?

Then come to the networking event at the Goat Tavern in London on April 23. This event is co-located with the London Text Analytics Summit – so if you can’t make it to the summit itself, join us in the evening for a drink or two and a chance to network with your peers in the NLP community. As with all meetings of the London Text Analytics group, attendance is free of charge – just sign up on the event page. And if that wasn’t incentive enough, I’ve included the press release from our good friends at Text Analytics News below.

See you there!

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