The value of everything: Ranking and association with encyclopedic knowledge

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The value of everything: Ranking and association with encyclopedic knowledge is a 2009 doctoral thesis written in English by K. Coursey and published in University of North Texas.

[edit] Abstract

This dissertation describes {WikiRank,} an unsupervised method of assigning relative values to elements of a broad coverage encyclopedic information source in order to identify those entries that may be relevant to a given piece of text. The valuation given to an entry is based not on textual similarity but instead on the links that associate entries, and an estimation of the expected frequency of visitation that would be given to each entry based on those associations in context. This estimation of relative frequency of visitation is embodied in modifications to the random walk interpretation of the {PageRank} algorithm. {WikiRank} is an effective algorithm to support natural language processing applications. It is shown to exceed the performance of previous machine learning algorithms for the task of automatic topic identification, providing results comparable to that of human annotators. Second, {WikiRank} is found useful for the task of recognizing text-based paraphrases on a semantic level, by comparing the distribution of attention generated by two pieces of text using the encyclopedic resource as a common reference. Finally, {WikiRank} is shown to have the ability to use its base of encyclopedic knowledge to recognize terms from different ontologies as describing the same thing, and thus allowing for the automatic generation of mapping links between ontologies. The conclusion of this thesis is that the knowledge access heuristic" is valuable and that a ranking process based on a large encyclopedic resource can form the basis for an extendable general purpose mechanism capable of identifying relevant concepts by association which in turn can be effectively utilized for enumeration and comparison at a semantic level."

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