Mining Text Can Boost Research

By Grimes, Seth | Information Outlook, November 2005 | Go to article overview

Mining Text Can Boost Research


Grimes, Seth, Information Outlook


Text mining denotes software and computing processes that apply linguistic, statistical, and machine learning techniques to discover and exploit meaning hidden in text.

But "hidden" as used here is misleading. While documents may be senseless collections of bits to a computer, we mere humans have no trouble reading and classifying them and using their information content. Most texts of interest are highly structured, fitting well-defined forms (books, letters, articles, scientific papers, conversations), and following logical, even if irregular grammatical rules, with semantic meaning that can be inferred from context, syntax, and word morphology.

Simply put, text mining enables machines to do what scientists, researchers, lawyers, librarians--what readers have been doing without conscious reflection for as long as text has existed. But text mining not only replicates human abilities, it magnifies them. It allows us to work with documents in languages that are foreign to us, to process large volume of information very quickly, and to tease out complex patterns that are indiscernible without application of statistical techniques. Text mining is a research tool, one that both weans machines from their traditional diet of rigidly structured and formatted data and greatly extends our reach.

Text mining replicates many librarianship functions. It can be used to infer taxonomies--classification schemes--suitable for diverse subject-matter domains, and it can automate classification of individual documents according to those categorizations. It can summarize texts and facilitate sophisticated searches. It can identify and extract entities--for instance, names of people, places, chemical compounds, and diseases; dates; e-mail addresses; and so on. It can handle concepts such as reputation and sentiment. And it can discern facts such as events and linkages that characterize and interrelate the discovered entities and concepts.

Uses of Text Mining

Text mining has been successfully introduced in a number of business domains. These areas are characterized by high information volume, well-defined goals, and constrained vocabularies, and set business rules. Examples of text mining include:

* Drug discovery: researchers seeks to discover the effect of chemical compounds and therapies on medical symptoms;

* Genomics: gene sequences are correlated with physical expressions;

* Warranty-claims analysis: which seeks to understand defects and their causes and to identify patterns in claims that may indicate special conditions or fraud;

* Customer-relationship management for functions such as analysis of call-center notes and automated e-mail routing and processing;

* Media monitoring for corporations that seek to manage their reputations, follow trends, and respond quickly to public perceptions;

* Law enforcement, intelligence, and counter-terrorism.

The process starts with lexical analysis and tagging: breaking a text into constituent word, phrase, entity, and concept elements; marking those elements with XML (Extensible Markup Language) tags; and generating basic statistics and indexes. This starting step typically involves use of language- and subject-domain-specific lexicons and grammars. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mining Text Can Boost Research
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.