Conference article

Tagging Named Entities in 19th Century and Modern Finnish Newspaper Material with a Finnish Semantic Tagger

Kimmo Kettunen
The National Library of Finland, Finland

Laura Löfberg
Department of Linguistics and English, Language, Lancaster University, UK

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Published in: Proceedings of the 21st Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics, NoDaLiDa, 22-24 May 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 131:4, p. 29-36

NEALT Proceedings Series 29:4, p. 29-36

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Published: 2017-05-08

ISBN: 978-91-7685-601-7

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


Named Entity Recognition (NER), search, classification and tagging of names and name like informational elements in texts, has become a standard information extraction procedure for textual data during the last two decades. NER has been applied to many types of texts and different types of entities: newspapers, fiction, historical records, persons, locations, chemical compounds, protein families, animals etc. In general a NER system’s performance is genre and domain dependent. Also used entity categories vary a lot (Nadeau and Sekine, 2007). The most general set of named entities is usually some version of three part categorization of locations, persons and corporations. In this paper we report evaluation results of NER with two different data: digitized Finnish historical newspaper collection Digi and modern Finnish technology news, Digitoday. Historical newspaper collection Digi contains 1,960,921 pages of newspaper material from years 1771–1910 both in Finnish and Swedish. We use only material of Finnish documents in our evaluation. The OCRed newspaper collection has lots of OCR errors; its estimated word level correctness is about 70–75%, and its NER evaluation collection consists of 75 931 words (Kettunen and Pääkkönen, 2016; Kettunen et al., 2016). Digitoday’s annotated collection consists of 240 articles in six different sections of the newspaper. Our new evaluated tool for NER tagging is non-conventional: it is a rulebased Finnish Semantic Tagger, the FST (Löfberg et al., 2005), and its results are compared to those of a standard rulebased NE tagger, FiNER.


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