Presentation at NY JavaSIG


Last tuesday (May 23) I gave a 40 min how-to talk on uses of linguistics in the “application stack” featuring source level details of how to get LingPipe jumping through hoops like “did you mean?” style query spell checking, sentence classificaiton and finally sentence detection, entity detection up to within document coref.

Slides at NYJava Sig Past Presentations

How did it go? Otis came up to me gesturing the universal sign of head-about-to-explode (hands pressing sides of skull in) and stuttered that half of the talk would have been more than enough. One person hated it in the NY Sig forum “Should anyone waste their time listening to things like Linguistics+Software” but that prompted a bunch of useful reponses.

Some quotes:

“Yes, I really enjoyed the speakers….While the Ling Pipe speaker was, in my mind, a quirky academic, I wouldn’t expect much less from a guy that has spent many, many hours thinking about how language is constructed and used and subsequently trying to encode that knowledge in software.”

Computational linguistics has definately rotted my mind–quantifier scope ambiguities really warped reality.

“I thought the linguistics toolkit – LingPipe – was very interesting. The topic is quite academic but the use of linguistics is growing in everyday applications with the increase of unstructured or semi-structured data in the form of email, chats and all types of electronic documents. However, you are right that this is definitely not a mainstream concern in the world of java these days.”

That is pretty much the problem we are trying to solve, make lingusitcs more of a mainstream concern, part of a competent developers toolkit like a DB would be.

“Personally I thought the LingPipe talk was fascinating. Imo, they need another layer over what Breck was describing, which was a sort of ‘system call’ layer. A set of higher level components for various use cases would go a long way. Seems like a very powerful library to extract semantics out of text.”

This comment had Bob and I talking for a while. Perhaps a single class that has precompiled models with methods for the “standard” things is called for.
Maybe it will make it into the 2.5 release.

Giving the talk was a good experience, I spent a week writing it up and will spend more time tuning. I am looking for other venues to give it so get in touch if you have ideas.

2 Responses to “Presentation at NY JavaSIG”

  1. malpern Says:

    Thanks for posting your slides. Very interesting, but for someone new to the field (me :) ) a bit dense. Would you consider posting a screencast / podcast where you voiceover the content while presenting the slides. My hope is that the additional context can help me get started. Thanks again for the excellent blog and linguistic analysis tool. Back to the tutorials….


  2. Breck Says:

    A voice over, or video (so you can catch my dynamic presentation style) is a good idea. I will try to do so next time I present.

    Don’t be shy about posting questions on the LingPipe newsgroup on Yahoo.

    If there is a local java sig where I can present (Boston, San Fransisco??)
    that would be ideal. Guess I have to get on that….


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