Category: My research

Scatterplot of plays and the probabilities of two topics 0

Teaching and Research, or: a Post-scriptum to ‘Topic Modeling Genre’

Wouldn’t it be nice if teaching and research could always be closely connected? And I don’t just mean students benefitting from their instructors being active researchers. I also mean it the other way around, with researchers benefitting from the work they are doing with the students. The true Einheit von Forschung und Lehre (i.e., the unity of research and teaching)...

Distance matrix obtained from stylo for ELTeC-eng, visualized as a clustermap using seaborn. 6

Dear fellow stylometrists, let’s drop the dendrogram and cherish the distance matrix

The dendrogram is a classic and beloved visualization in stylometry. One could even say that, ever since it was included in the inevitable and unmatched stylo package for R, it has become an icon and metonymy of stylometry itself. The example shown below (Figure 1) illustrates what such a dendrogram looks like, although given its ubiquity, there is almost no...

6

Topic Modeling with MALLET: Hyperparameter Optimization

This is a short technical post about an interesting feature of Mallet which I have recently discovered or rather, whose (for me) unexpected effect on the topic models I have discovered: the parameter that controls the hyperparameter optimization interval in Mallet.[1] Yes, there are parameters, there are hyperparameters, and there are parameters controlling how hyperparameters are optimized. For a long...

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Follow-up on Simenon and Sentence-Length: Visualization and Hypothesis-Testing

In a conversation about my recent post on sentence length in Georges Simenon’s work, Fotis Jannidis said he thought the post was typical of quite a lot of recent work in digital literary studies in that it is exploratory rather than focused on hypothesis testing. I think this is true and that it is a problem. Exploratory methods, especially when...

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Detecting Transpositions when Comparing Text Versions using CollateX

The aims of this post are to explain what collation is, why detecting transpositions is special, and how to accomplish it using CollateX. The example I will be using involves comparing two versions of the recent best-selling novel The Martian by Andy Weir, a novel whose publishing history Erik Ketzan and me are currently investigating. More specifically, I will illustrate...

1

Does Shorter Sell Better? Belgian author George Simenon’s use of sentence length

Belgian author Georges Simenon is probably most famous for his crime fiction novels in which police detective Maigret investigates serious crimes and elucidates them with intelligence, empathy, a team of inspectors and acquaintances, and, of course, his tobacco pipe as well as sandwiches and beers brought to his office. Simenon wrote 75 of these Maigret novels (and a certain number...

Topic Clustering Dendrogram 0

What’s in my topic model? Or: Clustering topics by semantic similarity

For the last year or so, one my major interests has been topic modeling and applying it to a variety of French literary texts. I have been doing this as part of an exploration of the computational analysis of literary genres in our Würzburg junior researchers group. One of the interesting things to come out of all of this has...

3

Stylometry and pastiche. A case study from French crime fiction

When I enthusiastically present literary scholars with the surprising accuracy stylometric methods display in many cases of authorship attribution (given appropriate conditions, such as sufficient material, a certain homogeneity in the genre of the texts, and state-of-the art distance measures), some come up with a clever question: What if one author parodies the style of another author? Will stylometric methods...

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The Schiller-Kleist Uncertainty Principle (guest post)

This is a guest post, written by Philip Dürholt, a student in the “Digital Humanities” program (BA and MA) at the Department for Literary Computing, University of Würzburg. As always, comments are welcome! I’m a student at the University of Würzburg. My subjects are Philosophy and Digital Humanities. Last winter semester I had an interesting mix of courses: Quantitative Analysis...

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What’s the simplest way of telling verse and prose apart?

Everyone knows that verse and prose are different. Well, there are two exeptions: the first is Monsieur Jourdain in Molière’s play Le bourgois gentilhomme, who only learns about that difference from his “maître de philosophie”. The other exception is the computer, for which both prose and verse are simply and equally strings of characters. Now, if you have nice TEI-encoded texts,...

1

How to Create Lemmatized (French) Text for Topic Modeling

It would not, some years ago, have occurred to me that anyone would want to reduce literary texts to the following pitiful state: “me avoir tu faire un rapport bien sincère / ne déguiser tu rien de ce que avoir dire mon père / tout mon sens à moi-même en être encor charmer : / il estimer Rodrigue autant que...

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Enrichment by Elimination, or: How to turn HTML into simple TEI using Python

There are lots of full text repositories of literary works out there, be it the venerable Project Gutenberg (founded in 1971, when the internet was just a few dozen computers), a pioneer like Gallica (with increasing amounts of plain text in the 90-95% correct OCR range), or a crowdsourced efforts like Wikisource (with nifty quality indicators). Closer to my geographical...

2

Topic Modeling French Crime Fiction

For some reason I can’t explain, I have had for many years a very keen interest in crime fiction, especially French crime fiction written since the 1950s, roughly. Some of my favorite authors are Léo Malet, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Sébastien Japrisot and Didier Daeninckx. And it is not for no reason that I was drawn to Mitzi Morris’ stylometric murder mystery...

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Principal Component Analysis for Literary Genre Stylistics

Last week, we had our little digital humanities conference here in Würzburg, called <philtag n=”11″/> because this was the eleventh annual edition of the event. It was a great event, with plenty of wonderful talks about digital editing of manuscripts, immersive virtual reality, 3D laser-scans of cuneiform writing, network analysis of drama, and a lot more. For me, it was...

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Big? Smart? Clean? Messy? Data in the Humanities

(Please note that a revised version of this post has been published in the Journal for Digital Humanities in december 2013. – The original post is a slightly edited version of a talk I gave at the European Summer School “Culture & Technology at the University of Leipzig, Germany, on July 26 2013.) This talk is about data in the...

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