Exploring the Language of Data

Gábor Bella, Linda Gremes, Fausto Giunchiglia


Abstract
We set out to uncover the unique grammatical properties of an important yet so far under-researched type of natural language text: that of short labels typically found within structured datasets. We show that such labels obey a specific type of abbreviated grammar that we call the Language of Data, with properties significantly different from the kinds of text typically addressed in computational linguistics and NLP, such as ‘standard’ written language or social media messages. We analyse orthography, parts of speech, and syntax over a large, bilingual, hand-annotated corpus of data labels collected from a variety of domains. We perform experiments on tokenisation, part-of-speech tagging, and named entity recognition over real-world structured data, demonstrating that models adapted to the Language of Data outperform those trained on standard text. These observations point in a new direction to be explored as future research, in order to develop new NLP tools and models dedicated to the Language of Data.
Anthology ID:
2020.coling-main.582
Volume:
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics
Month:
December
Year:
2020
Address:
Barcelona, Spain (Online)
Venue:
COLING
SIG:
Publisher:
International Committee on Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
6638–6648
Language:
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/2020.coling-main.582
DOI:
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PDF:
http://aclanthology.lst.uni-saarland.de/2020.coling-main.582.pdf