Recognition and identification of real-world entities is at the core of virtually any text mining application. As a matter of fact, referential units such as names of persons, locations and organizations underlie the semantics of texts and guide their interpretation. Around since the seminal Message Understanding Conference (MUC) evaluation cycle in the 1990s , named entity-related tasks have undergone major evolutions until now, from entity recognition and classification to entity disambiguation and linking [2,3,4,5]. Besides the general domain of well-written newswire data, named entity (NE) processing is also applied on specific domains, particularly bio-medical , and on more noisy inputs such as speech transcriptions  and tweets . More recently, NE processing has also been called upon to contribute to the domain of digital humanities, where massive digitization of historical documents is producing huge amounts of texts.
De facto, NE processing tools are increasingly being used in the context of historical documents. Research activities in this domain target texts of different nature (e.g., publications by cultural institutions, state-related documents, genealogical data, historical newspapers) and different tasks (NE recognition and classification, entity linking, or both). Experiments involve different time periods (from 16th to 20th c.), focus on different domains, and use different typologies. This great variety demonstrates how many and varied the needs – and the challenges – are, but makes performance comparison difﬁcult, not to say impossible. Compared to the standard analysis of present-time English, very often news, the application of NE tools on historical texts faces news challenges, which can be deﬁned as follows: (i) noisy input texts, (ii) lack of coverage in linguistic resources and knowledge bases, and (iii) dynamics of language .
The objective of the tutorial is to provide the participants with essential knowledge with respect to a) NE processing in general and in DH, and b) how to apply NE recognition approaches. To this end, the session will be organized in two parts, theory and hands-on.
Throughout the sessions, the audience will learn about:
Participants will also learn how to run an existing NER system and, more interestingly, how to build or adapt a system, by training it on historical materials. Two main approaches will be considered:
In the hands-on session we will make use of two datasets consisting of historical texts:
Additionally, we will provide a list of alternative datasets, both historical and contemporary, that participants can decide to work with, in full respect of copyrights. Finally, participants are welcome to bring to the workshop their own datasets in order to apply the code and tools we will present to them.
to come soon!
Hands-on material will be shared on GitHub and will include:
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