On the Reconstruction of Text Phylogeny Trees: Evaluation and Analysis of Textual RelationshipsReport as inadecuate

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Over the history of mankind, textual records change. Sometimes due to mistakes during transcription, sometimes on purpose, as a way to rewrite facts and reinterpret history. There are several classical cases, such as the logarithmic tables, and the transmission of antique and medieval scholarship. Today, text documents are largely edited and redistributed on the Web. Articles on news portals and collaborative platforms such as Wikipedia, source code, posts on social networks, and even scientific publications or literary works are some examples in which textual content can be subject to changes in an evolutionary process. In this scenario, given a set of near-duplicate documents, it is worthwhile to find which one is the original and the history of changes that created the whole set. Such functionality would have immediate applications on news tracking services, detection of plagiarism, textual criticism, and copyright enforcement, for instance. However, this is not an easy task, as textual features pointing to the documents’ evolutionary direction may not be evident and are often dataset dependent. Moreover, side information, such as time stamps, are neither always available nor reliable. In this paper, we propose a framework for reliably reconstructing text phylogeny trees, and seamlessly exploring new approaches on a wide range of scenarios of text reusage. We employ and evaluate distinct combinations of dissimilarity measures and reconstruction strategies within the proposed framework, and evaluate each approach with extensive experiments, including a set of artificial near-duplicate documents with known phylogeny, and from documents collected from Wikipedia, whose modifications were made by Internet users. We also present results from qualitative experiments in two different applications: text plagiarism and reconstruction of evolutionary trees for manuscripts stemmatology.

Author: Guilherme D. Marmerola, Marina A. Oikawa, Zanoni Dias, Siome Goldenstein, Anderson Rocha

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/


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