This past Wednesday (Jan. 21, 2015) I was at the NewsReader Hackathon. NewsReader is a EU project to extract events and build stories from the news. They use a sophisticated NLP pipeline combined with semantic background knowledge to perform this task. The hackathon was an opportunity to talk to members of one of the leading NLP groups in the Netherlands (CLTL) and find out more about their current pipeline. Additionally, one of the project partners is Lexis Nexis, a sister company of Elsevier, so it was nice to see how their content was being used as basis for event extraction and also meet some of my colleagues. The combination of news and research is particularly of interest in light of the recent Elsevier acquisition of NewsFlo.
Besides the chance to meet people, I also got to do some hacking myself to see how the NewsReader API worked. I used the api to plot the number and type of events featuring universities. (The resulting iPython Notebook)
A couple of pointers for future reference:
- The NewsReader developed NAF annotation format
- Linguistic Annotation Format
- NewsReader NLP software components
- The Amsterdam Library is a great place for hackathons