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  1. Quantitative formalism: an experiment

    This paper is the report of a study conducted by five people – four at Stanford, and one at the University of Wisconsin – which tried to establish whether computer-generated algorithms could "recognize" literary genres. You take 'David Copperfield',... mehr

     

    This paper is the report of a study conducted by five people – four at Stanford, and one at the University of Wisconsin – which tried to establish whether computer-generated algorithms could "recognize" literary genres. You take 'David Copperfield', run it through a program without any human input – "unsupervised", as the expression goes – and ... can the program figure out whether it's a gothic novel or a 'Bildungsroman'? The answer is, fundamentally, Yes: but a Yes with so many complications that it is necessary to look at the entire process of our study. These are new methods we are using, and with new methods the process is almost as important as the results.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Arbeitspapier
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800); Literaturtheorie (801)
    Sammlung: Stanford Literary Lab
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  2. Network theory, plot analysis
    Erschienen: 01.05.2011

    In the last few years, literary studies have experienced what we could call the rise of quantitative evidence. This had happened before of course, without producing lasting effects, but this time it’s probably going to be different, because this time... mehr

     

    In the last few years, literary studies have experienced what we could call the rise of quantitative evidence. This had happened before of course, without producing lasting effects, but this time it’s probably going to be different, because this time we have digital databases, and automated data retrieval. As Michel’s and Lieberman’s recent article on "Culturomics" made clear, the width of the corpus and the speed of the search have increased beyond all expectations: today, we can replicate in a few minutes investigations that took a giant like Leo Spitzer months and years of work. When it comes to phenomena of language and style, we can do things that previous generations could only dream of.

    When it comes to language and style. But if you work on novels or plays, style is only part of the picture. What about plot – how can that be quantified? This paper is the beginning of an answer, and the beginning of the beginning is network theory. This is a theory that studies connections within large groups of objects: the objects can be just about anything – banks, neurons, film actors, research papers, friends... – and are usually called nodes or vertices; their connections are usually called edges; and the analysis of how vertices are linked by edges has revealed many unexpected features of large systems, the most famous one being the so-called "small-world" property, or "six degrees of separation": the uncanny rapidity with which one can reach any vertex in the network from any other vertex. The theory proper requires a level of mathematical intelligence which I unfortunately lack; and it typically uses vast quantities of data which will also be missing from my paper. But this is only the first in a series of studies we’re doing at the Stanford Literary Lab; and then, even at this early stage, a few things emerge.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Arbeitspapier
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Sammlung: Stanford Literary Lab
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen