EACL 2012, Avignon

Last week, Andreas van Cranenburgh attended the 13th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL). EACL is one of the foremost conferences in the field of computational linguistics; this year’s acceptance rate was well below 30%. There were only 5 other works about parsing, and all of these were about dependency parsing instead of constituency parsing (different representations for expressing the syntactic structure of sentences). This meant that Andreas’s poster on discontinuous parsing was the only one to focus on constituency structures, which are commonly used in Data-Oriented Parsing and thus relevant to our project.

One paper in particular stood out due to its relevance to our project: Character-based kernels for novelistic plot structure. The paper presented a method to analyze and compare plot structure of novels. For example the relations of characters in a social network can be extracted, as well as their `emotional development’ based on a list of emotion-related words. The resulting information is used to produce a similarity metric for texts. One graph, for example, plotted the emotions of the protagonist of a Jane Austen novel, showing strong peaks corresponding to a proposal, elopement, and marriage of the protagonist. It is encouraging to see that even with a relatively superficial linguistic analysis, interesting details can be revealed of literary texts.

Parsing in Avignon

Riddle PhD-student Andreas van Cranenburgh will present a poster at the 13th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL). The conference will be held at the University of Avignon from April 23 to April 27, 2012. The title of the paper is ‘Efficient parsing with linear context-free rewriting systems.’ It presents results on parsing with discontinuous constituents from his Master thesis, defended in October 2011. More about the conference can be found through http://www.eacl.org/ A pre-print of the paper is available at http://staff.science.uva.nl/~acranenb/eacl2012.pdf