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Frontiers  of  

Computational  Journalism
Columbia Journalism School
Week 7: Knowledge
Representation
November 6, 2015

Unstructured  data

Structured  data

Everyblock.com circa 2009

Connected China. Reuters, 2013

Article  Metadata
headline

photo
photo  credit
photo  caption
byline
publication  date
dateline
article  body
related  articles

Schema.org  news  markup
Overall  type  of  the  object  on  this  page,  in  HTML  head

Headline,  dateline,  date  as  additions  to  div/span  properties

Byline  expressed  as  nested  object  (using  itemscope)  of  type  schema.org/Person

Driving  application:  “rich  snippets

Schema.org  covers  not  just  news  but  music,  restaurants,  people,  
organizations,  reviews,  offers...  

Snippets,  and  beSer  search-­‐‑ability  generally,  are  motivation  for  
Google,  Yahoo,  Bing  to  push  schema.org

Additional  metadata  from  indexing  team

In database, but doesn't necessarily make it to HTML.

News  application:  content  navigation
Articles  about  “Syria”
on  NYT  topic  page

More  reliable  than  simple  
text  search  (because  the  
relevance  algorithm  knows  a  
story  is  "ʺabout"ʺ  Syria.)

Ontologies
What objects and relations are available?

Often  represented  as  class  hierarchy.  
Arrows  =  “is_a”  relation

(Part  of)  a  real  ontology,  from  Cyc

Every  big  news  org  has  their  own    
big  ontology  L

topics, people, organizations, places...

Yaaay  Linked  Data!

Triples of (subject relation object), each a URL or literal
<urn:x-states:New%20York>
<http://purl.org/dc/terms/alternative>
"NY”
<http://dbpedia.org/resource/Columbia_University>
<http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#type>
<http://schema.org/CollegeOrUniversity>

Abbreviations possible with many formats...
<http://dbpedia.org/resource/Columbia_University>
ns6:CollegeOrUniversity

rdf:type

NYT  ontology  available  as  LOD

owl:SameAs  makes  this  interoperable

NYT  API  can  return  linked  data
{
"title": "Syria's Rebels Open Talks on Forging United Political Front"
"body": "BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syria ’s fractious opposition groups began
negotiations in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday to forge a more unified front to
reshape the political landscape in a bloody conflict that claims more than 100
lives virtually every day. Given the scant prospects that any attempt to
restructure the opposition will succeed — the",
"dbpedia_resource_url": [
"http://dbpedia.org/resource/Hillary_Rodham_Clinton",
"http://dbpedia.org/resource/Bashar_al-Assad"],
"facet_terms": "CLINTON, HILLARY RODHAM ASSAD, BASHAR AL- SYRIA DOHA
(QATAR) SYRIAN NATIONAL COUNCIL STATE DEPARTMENT WAR AND REVOLUTION DEFENSE
AND MILITARY FORCES"
}

Objects  and  relations  in  text?

names,  dates,  places, verbs.

Named  Entity  Recognition
Extract subjects, objects, from text.
Also, resolve pronouns if possible.
"Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday gave a sea
wall the nod. Because of the recent history of
powerful storms hitting the area, he said, elected
officials have a responsibility to consider new and
innovative plans to prevent similar damage in the
future."

NER  state  of  the  art
•  Commercial: Google Knowledge Graph
•  Academic: Stanford NER library

Next  level  of  understanding:  verbs
“The water that made rivers of Avenues C and D
receded on Tuesday, and the East Village was a
mixture of disaster and nonchalance. A group of
young men in pajama pants and shorts threw a
football on East 12th Street, while workers pumped the
basement of CHP Hardware on Avenue C and Eighth
Street.”

subject  verb  object

Knowledge  Representation  in  AI  
(a  crazy  brief  introduction)
Classic "symbolic" paradigm represents knowledge as
statements in mathematical logic.
Many variations. Most are subsets or modifications of
standard first order logic (FOL).
Mathematical representation of human knowledge is
a very old dream! (Greeks, Leibniz, GOFAI...)

Leibniz,  1685
The only way to rectify our reasonings is to make them
as tangible as those of the Mathematicians, so that
we can find our error at a glance, and when there are
disputes among persons, we can simply say: Let us
calculate [calculemus], without further ado, to see
who is right.

Predicates  and  Relations
Predicate: asserts that object belongs to a class
vechicle(schoolbus)
bird(tweety)
straight_gangsta(emily_bell)

Relation: asserts relationship between objects
is_a(car, vehicle)
higher_rank(general, colonel)
capital(paris, france)

Inference
General rules
a ∧ (a => b) => b
p ∨ !p

Domain specific inferences
is_a(car, vehicle)
can_move(vehicle)
=> can_move(car)

News  as  relations  between  entities
“Alice attended the wedding”

attended(alice, wedding)
“IBM was founded in 1917.”

founded(IBM, 1917)
“Hurricane Sandy hit New York”

hit(hurricane_sandy, New_York)

Encode  facts  as  relation(subject,object)
also  wriSen  (subject relation object)

Things  we  could  do  with  this
Question answering
“The granddaughter of which actor starred in E.T.?”
(?x acted-in “E.T.”)(?y is-a actor)(?x granddaughter-of ?y)

Inference
(bob brother-of alice)
(alice mother-of lucy) =>
(bob uncle-of lucy)

Answer questions using inference
“how many executives of publicly-traded Canadian companies died
in car crashes?

Problems
Not all subjects are simple.
“Over a hundred guests attended the wedding”

attended(num_guests, wedding)
greater_than(num_guests,100)

Some relations have multiple parts.
“Hurricane Sandy hit New York on Monday”
hit(sandy, New_York, monday)

Standard  inference  doesn’t  allow  defaults
“All birds fly”
bird(tweety)
bird(?x) => flies(?x)
=> flies(tweety)

But, “penguins and chickens don’t fly”
bird(?x) & !penguin(?x) & !chicken(?x)=> flies(?x)

Now we can’t guess that tweety flies
bird(tweety) => flies(tweety) ?
we don’t know!

Standard  mathematical  logic  
doesn’t  deal  well  with  exceptions
Some people don’t have a last name.
Sometimes an election isn’t decided on election day.
Is a trash can used as a flower pot still a trash can?
Is a broken car still a vehicle if it can't move?

Relations  from  sentence  parsing
“The water that made rivers of Avenues C and D
receded on Tuesday, and the East Village was a
mixture of disaster and nonchalance. A group of
young men in pajama pants and shorts threw a
football on East 12th Street, while workers pumped the
basement of CHP Hardware on Avenue C and Eighth
Street.”

subject  verb  object

Relation  extraction  systems
•  Commercial: IBM's DeepQA (Watson)
•  Academic: Open IE project

Ontology  explosions
(water made rivers of Avenues C and D)
(East Village was a mixture of disaster and
nonchalance)
(group of young men in pajama pants and shorts
threw football)
(workers pumped the basement of CHP Hardware )

Do we have all of these in the ontology?

“General  Question  Answering”

Precision/recall tradeoff. State of the art is IBM’s DeepQA

DeepQA  use  of  structured  data
“Watson  can  also  use  detected  relations  to  query  a  triple  
store  and  directly  generate  candidate  answers.  Due  to  the  
breadth  of  relations  in  the  Jeopardy  domain  and  the  variety  
of  ways  in  which  they  are  expressed,  however,  Watson’s  
current  ability  to  effectively  use  curated  databases  to  simply  
“look  up”  the  answers  is  limited  to  fewer  than  2  percent  of  
the  clues.”

-­‐‑  Ferruci  et.  al.  “Building  Watson”

Wall Street is high on Molson Coors Brewing (TAP), expecting it to report earnings
that are up 17.5% from a year ago when it reports its third quarter earnings on
Wednesday, November 7, 2012. The consensus estimate is $1.34 per share, up
from earnings of $1.14 per share a year ago.
The consensus estimate has dipped over the past month, from $1.35, but it’s still
up from the consensus estimate of $1.19 three months ago. For the fiscal year,
analysts are expecting earnings of $3.89 per share. Revenue is projected to
eclipse the year-earlier total of $954.4 million by 31%, finishing at $1.25 billion for
the quarter. For the year, revenue is projected to roll in at $4.04 billion.
The company’s net income has declined in the last two quarters. The company
posted profit falling by 52.8% in the second quarter. This is after it reported a profit
decline in the first quarter by 4.1%.

Automatic  story  generation,  by  Narrative  Science