Network analysis of named entity co-occurrences in written texts
Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of São Paulo - São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil
Received: 23 December 2015
Accepted: 15 June 2016
The use of methods borrowed from statistics and physics to analyze written texts has allowed the discovery of unprecedent patterns of human behavior and cognition by establishing links between models features and language structure. While current models have been useful to unveil patterns via analysis of syntactical and semantical networks, only a few works have probed the relevance of investigating the structure arising from the relationship between relevant entities such as characters, locations and organizations. In this study, we represent entities appearing in the same context as a co-occurrence network, where links are established according to a null model based on random, shuffled texts. Computational simulations performed in novels revealed that the proposed model displays interesting topological features, such as the small world feature, characterized by high values of clustering coefficient. The effectiveness of our model was verified in a practical pattern recognition task in real networks. When compared with traditional word adjacency networks, our model displayed optimized results in identifying unknown references in texts. Because the proposed representation plays a complementary role in characterizing unstructured documents via topological analysis of named entities, we believe that it could be useful to improve the characterization of written texts (and related systems), specially if combined with traditional approaches based on statistical and deeper paradigms.
PACS: 89.75.Hc – Networks and genealogical trees / 02.50.-r – Probability theory, stochastic processes, and statistics
© EPLA, 2016