A Revolutionary Approach to Humanities Computing?: Tools Development and the D2K Data-Mining Framework

panel / roundtable
  1. 1. J. Stephen Downie

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

  2. 2. John Unsworth

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

  3. 3. Bei Yu

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

  4. 4. David Tcheng

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

  5. 5. Geoffrey Rockwell

    McMaster University

  6. 6. Stephen J. Ramsay

    University of Georgia

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Anew set of humanities computing (HC) research projects
are underway that could revolutionize how the HC
community works together to build, use, and share HC tools.
The set of projects under consideration all play a role in the
development work currently being done to extend the D2K
(Data-to-Knowledge)1 data-mining framework into the realm
of HC. John Unsworth and Stephen J. Ramsay were recently
awarded a significant Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant2
to develop a suite of HC data-mining tools using D2K and its
child framework, T2K (Text-to-Knowledge). Drs. Unsworth
and Ramsay, along with research assistant, Bei Yu, are working
closely with Geoffrey Rockwell. Dr. Rockwell is the project
leader for the CFI (Canada Foundation for Innovation) funded
project, TAPoR (Text Analysis Portal for Research)3, which is
developing a text tool portal for researchers who work with
electronic texts. J. Stephen Downie and David Tcheng,
through their work in creating the International Music
Information Retrieval Systems Evaluation Laboratory
(IMIRSEL)4, are leading an international researchers group to
develop another D2K child system called M2K
("Music-to-Knowledge"). This panel session demonstrates how
all of these projects come together to form a comprehensive
whole. The session has four major themes designed, through
presentations and demonstrations, to highlight individual the
project components being developed and their collective impact
on the future of HC research. These themes are:
1. D2K as the overarching framework
2. T2K and its ties to traditional text-based HC techniques
3. M2K and its ties to multi-media-based HC techniques
4. The issues surrounding the HC community's development,
validation, distribution, and re-use of D2K/T2K/M2K
J. Stephen Downie, Graduate School of Library and
Information Science (GSLIS), University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
John Unsworth, GSLIS, UIUC
David Tcheng, National Center for Supercomputng
Applications (NCSA), UIUC
Geoffrey Rockwell, School of the Arts, McMaster University
Stephen J. Ramsay, Department of English, University of
Presentations, Demonstrations, and
Discussions (in order)
Overview of the NORA (No One Remembers
Acronyms) project
John Unsworth
For decades, humanities computing researchers have been
developing software tools and statistical techniques for text
analysis, but those same researchers have not succeeded in
producing tools of interest to the majority of humanities
researchers, nor (with the exception of some very recent work
in the Canadian TAPoR project) have they produced tools that
work over the web. Meanwhile, large collections of
web-accessible structured texts in the humanities have been
created and collected by libraries over the last fifteen years.
During that same time period, with improvements database and
other information technologies, data-mining has become a
practical tool, albeit one mostly used in business applications.
We believe data-mining (or more specifically, text-mining)
techniques can be applied to digital library collections to
discover unanticipated patterns, for further exploration either
through traditional criticism or through web-based text analysis. Existing humanities e-text collections from Virginia, Michigan,
Indiana, North Carolina, and other research universities form
the corpus for the project. NORA brings NCSA's D2K
data-mining architecture to bear on the challenges of
text-mining in digital libraries, with special emphasis on
leveraging markup, and on visualizations as interface and as
part of an iterative process of exploration.
Introduction to the D2K framework
David Tcheng
Released in 1999, D2K was developed by the Automated
Learning Group (ALG) at NCSA. D2K has been used to solve
many problems for both industry (e.g., Sears, Caterpillar, etc.)
and government agencies (e.g., NSF, NASA, NIH, etc.).
Academic uses include bioinformatics, seismology, hydrology,
and astronomy. D2K uses a data flow paradigm where a
'program' is a network (directed graph) of processing modules.
Modules can be 'primitive', defined as a single piece of source
code that implements a single well defined task, or can be
'nested' meaning it is defined as a network of previously defined
D2K modules. Decomposition of programs into modules that
implement a well defined input-output relationship promotes
the creation of reusable code. Nesting modules into higher-level
modules helps to manage complexity. D2K parallelizes across
any number different computers by simply running a copy of
"D2K Server" on each available machine. The D2K software
distribution comes as a basic D2K package, with core modules
capable of doing general purpose data-mining, as well as such
task-specific add-on packages as text analysis (T2K), image
analysis (I2K), and now music analysis (M2K).
Introduction to T2K
Bei Yu
Similar to many data-mining tools, T2K has implemented a
number of automatic classification and clustering algorithms.
Compared to the commercial text mining tools, for example
SAS Text Miner, T2K has richer NLP preprocessing tools,
especially after its integration with GATE. Tools include:
stemmer, tokenizer, PoS-tagger, data cleaning and named-entity
extraction tools. The clustering visualization is tailored for
thematic analysis. On one hand, T2K provides a text mining
platform for the HC community. On the other hand, T2K is also
a platform to automate the HC research results and thus
facilitate their applications to the text mining community in
general. For example, most of the text mining tasks are still
topicality oriented, but the affect analysis has emerged in the
last couple of years. The affect of a document includes the
subjectivity/objectivity, the positive/neutral/negative attitude,
and the strength of emotions, etc. Some researchers have
adapted stylistic analysis techniques from HC to analyze
customer reviews. The found non-thematic features can also
be used as predictors for document genre, readability, clarity
and many other document properties.
The TAPoR portal and D2K
Geoffrey Rockwell
TAPoR has released an alpha of the portal and will have the
beta ready by June 2005. The portal is designed to allow
researchers to run tools (which can be local or remote web
services) on texts (which can be local or remote.) The TAPoR
portal has been designed to work with other systems like D2K
in three ways:
1. Particular tools or chains of tools can be 'published' so that
they are available as post-process tool right in the interface
of another system. Thus one can have a button that appears
on the appropriate results screens of a D2K process that
allows the user to pass results to TAPoR tools.
2. The portal has been released as open source and we are
working on models for projects to run customized versions
of the portal that work within their environment.
3. The portal can initiate queries to remote systems and then
pass results to other TAPoR tools. Thus users can see tools
like D2K (where they have permission) within their portal
The Tamarind project and D2K
Stephen J. Ramsay
Tamarind began with the observation that the most basic text
analysis procedure of all — search — does not typically operate
on the text archive itself. It operates, rather, on a specially
designed data structure (typically an inverted file or pat trie
index) that contains string locations and byte offsets. Tamarind's
primary goal is to facilitate access to analytical data gleaned
from large-scale full text archives. Our working prototype of
Tamarind, for example, can quickly generate a relational
database of graph properties in a text which can in turn be mined
for structural information about the texts in question. Tamarind
creates a generalized database schema for holding text
properties and allows you to specify this structure as one that
should be isolated and loaded into the database. Work is
proceeding on a module that will allow the user to load a
Tamarind database with millions of word frequency data points
drawn from several gigabytes of encoded data. Unlike existing
tools, this newest module includes information about where
those counts occur within the tag structure of the document
(something that is impossible to do without the raw XML). For
the purposes of this project, we intend to use D2K and T2K as
the primary clients for Tamarind data stores. The M2K project
J. Stephen Downie
M2K is being developed to provide the Music Information
Retrieval (MIR) community with a mechanism to access a
secure store of copyright-sensitive music materials in symbolic,
audio and graphic formats. M2K is a set of open-source,
music-specific, D2K modules jointly developed by members
of the IMIRSEL project and the wider MIR community. M2K
modules include such classic signal processing functions as
Fast Fourier Transforms, Spectral Flux, etc. In combination
with D2K's built-in classification functions (e.g., Bayesian
Networks, Decision Trees, etc.), the M2K modules allow MIR
researchers to quickly construct and evaluate prototype MIR
systems that perform such sophisticated tasks as genre
recoginition, artist identification, audio transcription, score
analysis, and similarity clustering.
John Unsworth and J. Stephen Downie will lead a wrap-up
and future work open-forum discussion: For ambitious,
multi-institutional projects like those presented in this panel
many issues arise that can affect the sustainability and impact
of the projects. In particular, the issues surrounding the HC
community's development, validation, distribution, and re-use
of D2K/T2K/M2K modules will be addressed.
1. See <http://alg.ncsa.uiuc.edu/do/tools/d2k> .
2. See <http://www.news.uiuc.edu/news/04/1025me
llon.html> .
3. <http://www.tapor.ca/>
4. See <http://music-ir.org/evaluation>

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Conference Info

In review


Hosted at University of Victoria

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

June 15, 2005 - June 18, 2005

139 works by 236 authors indexed

Affiliations need to be double checked.

Conference website: http://web.archive.org/web/20071215042001/http://web.uvic.ca/hrd/achallc2005/

Series: ACH/ICCH (25), ALLC/EADH (32), ACH/ALLC (17)

Organizers: ACH, ALLC

  • Keywords: None
  • Language: English
  • Topics: None