Text mining, also referred to as text data mining, roughly equivalent to text analytics, refers to the process of deriving high-quality information from text. High-quality information is typically derived through the devising of patterns and trends through means such as statistical pattern learning. Text mining usually involves the process of structuring the input text (usually parsing, along with the addition of some derived linguistic features and the removal of others, and subsequent insertion into a database), deriving patterns within the structured data, and finally evaluation and interpretation of the output. 'High quality' in text mining usually refers to some combination of relevance, novelty, and interestingness. Typical text mining tasks include text categorization, text clustering, concept/entity extraction, production of granular taxonomies, sentiment analysis, document summarization, and entity relation modeling (i.e., learning relations between named entities).
Text analysis involves information retrieval, lexical analysis to study word frequency distributions, pattern recognition, tagging/annotation, information extraction, data mining techniques including link and association analysis, visualization, and predictive analytics. The overarching goal is, essentially, to turn text into data for analysis, via application of natural language processing (NLP) and analytical methods.
A typical application is to scan a set of documents written in a natural language and either model the document set for predictive classification purposes or populate a database or search index with the information extracted.
- 1 Text mining and text analytics
- 2 History
- 3 Text analysis processes
- 4 Applications
- 5 Software and applications
- 6 Implications
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Text mining and text analytics
The term text analytics describes a set of linguistic, statistical, and machine learning techniques that model and structure the information content of textual sources for business intelligence, exploratory data analysis, research, or investigation. The term is roughly synonymous with text mining; indeed, Ronen Feldman modified a 2000 description of "text mining" in 2004 to describe "text analytics." The latter term is now used more frequently in business settings while "text mining" is used in some of the earliest application areas, dating to the 1980s, notably life-sciences research and government intelligence.
The term text analytics also describes that application of text analytics to respond to business problems, whether independently or in conjunction with query and analysis of fielded, numerical data. It is a truism that 80 percent of business-relevant information originates in unstructured form, primarily text. These techniques and processes discover and present knowledge – facts, business rules, and relationships – that is otherwise locked in textual form, impenetrable to automated processing.
Labor-intensive manual text mining approaches first surfaced in the mid-1980s, but technological advances have enabled the field to advance during the past decade. Text mining is an interdisciplinary field that draws on information retrieval, data mining, machine learning, statistics, and computational linguistics. As most information (common estimates say over 80%) is currently stored as text, text mining is believed to have a high commercial potential value. Increasing interest is being paid to multilingual data mining: the ability to gain information across languages and cluster similar items from different linguistic sources according to their meaning.
The challenge of exploiting the large proportion of enterprise information that originates in "unstructured" form has been recognized for decades. It is recognized in the earliest definition of business intelligence (BI), in an October 1958 IBM Journal article by H.P. Luhn, A Business Intelligence System, which describes a system that will:
"...utilize data-processing machines for auto-abstracting and auto-encoding of documents and for creating interest profiles for each of the 'action points' in an organization. Both incoming and internally generated documents are automatically abstracted, characterized by a word pattern, and sent automatically to appropriate action points."
Yet as management information systems developed starting in the 1960s, and as BI emerged in the '80s and '90s as a software category and field of practice, the emphasis was on numerical data stored in relational databases. This is not surprising: text in "unstructured" documents is hard to process. The emergence of text analytics in its current form stems from a refocusing of research in the late 1990s from algorithm development to application, as described by Prof. Marti A. Hearst in the paper Untangling Text Data Mining:
For almost a decade the computational linguistics community has viewed large text collections as a resource to be tapped in order to produce better text analysis algorithms. In this paper, I have attempted to suggest a new emphasis: the use of large online text collections to discover new facts and trends about the world itself. I suggest that to make progress we do not need fully artificial intelligent text analysis; rather, a mixture of computationally-driven and user-guided analysis may open the door to exciting new results.
Hearst's 1999 statement of need fairly well describes the state of text analytics technology and practice a decade later.
Text analysis processes
Subtasks — components of a larger text-analytics effort — typically include:
- Information retrieval or identification of a corpus is a preparatory step: collecting or identifying a set textual materials, on the Web or held in a file system, database, or content management system, for analysis.
- Although some text analytics systems apply exclusively advanced statistical methods, many others apply more extensive natural language processing, such as part of speech tagging, syntactic parsing, and other types of linguistic analysis.
- Named entity recognition is the use of gazetteers or statistical techniques to identify named text features: people, organizations, place names, stock ticker symbols, certain abbreviations, and so on. Disambiguation — the use of contextual clues — may be required to decide where, for instance, "Ford" can refer to a former U.S. president, a vehicle manufacturer, a movie star, a river crossing, or some other entity.
- Recognition of Pattern Identified Entities: Features such as telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, quantities (with units) can be discerned via regular expression or other pattern matches.
- Coreference: identification of noun phrases and other terms that refer to the same object.
- Relationship, fact, and event Extraction: identification of associations among entities and other information in text
- Sentiment analysis involves discerning subjective (as opposed to factual) material and extracting various forms of attitudinal information: sentiment, opinion, mood, and emotion. Text analytics techniques are helpful in analyzing sentiment at the entity, concept, or topic level and in distinguishing opinion holder and opinion object.
- Quantitative text analysis is a set of techniques stemming from the social sciences where either a human judge or a computer extracts semantic or grammatical relationships between words in order to find out the meaning or stylistic patterns of, usually, a casual personal text for the purpose of psychological profiling etc.
The technology is now broadly applied for a wide variety of government, research, and business needs. Applications can be sorted into a number of categories by analysis type or by business function. Using this approach to classifying solutions, application categories include:
- Enterprise Business Intelligence/Data Mining, Competitive Intelligence
- E-Discovery, Records Management
- National Security/Intelligence
- Scientific discovery, especially Life Sciences
- Sentiment Analysis Tools, Listening Platforms
- Natural Language/Semantic Toolkit or Service
- Automated ad placement
- Search/Information Access
- Social media monitoring
Many text mining software packages are marketed for security applications, especially monitoring and analysis of online plain text sources such as Internet news, blogs, etc. for national security purposes. It is also involved in the study of text encryption/decryption.
A range of text mining applications in the biomedical literature has been described.
One online text mining application in the biomedical literature is PubGene that combines biomedical text mining with network visualization as an Internet service. TPX is a concept-assisted search and navigation tool for biomedical literature analyses - it runs on PubMed/PMC and can be configured, on request, to run on local literature repositories too.
GoPubMed is a knowledge-based search engine for biomedical texts.
Text mining methods and software is also being researched and developed by major firms, including IBM and Microsoft, to further automate the mining and analysis processes, and by different firms working in the area of search and indexing in general as a way to improve their results. Within public sector much effort has been concentrated on creating software for tracking and monitoring terrorist activities.
Online media applications
Text mining is being used by large media companies, such as the Tribune Company, to clarify information and to provide readers with greater search experiences, which in turn increases site "stickiness" and revenue. Additionally, on the back end, editors are benefiting by being able to share, associate and package news across properties, significantly increasing opportunities to monetize content.
Text mining is starting to be used in marketing as well, more specifically in analytical customer relationship management. Coussement and Van den Poel (2008) apply it to improve predictive analytics models for customer churn (customer attrition).
Sentiment analysis may involve analysis of movie reviews for estimating how favorable a review is for a movie. Such an analysis may need a labeled data set or labeling of the affectivity of words. Resources for affectivity of words and concepts have been made for WordNet and ConceptNet, respectively.
Text has been used to detect emotions in the related area of affective computing. Text based approaches to affective computing have been used on multiple corpora such as students evaluations, children stories and news stories.
The issue of text mining is of importance to publishers who hold large databases of information needing indexing for retrieval. This is especially true in scientific disciplines, in which highly specific information is often contained within written text. Therefore, initiatives have been taken such as Nature's proposal for an Open Text Mining Interface (OTMI) and the National Institutes of Health's common Journal Publishing Document Type Definition (DTD) that would provide semantic cues to machines to answer specific queries contained within text without removing publisher barriers to public access.
Academic institutions have also become involved in the text mining initiative:
- The National Centre for Text Mining (NaCTeM), is the first publicly funded text mining centre in the world. NaCTeM is operated by the University of Manchester in close collaboration with the Tsujii Lab, University of Tokyo. NaCTeM provides customised tools, research facilities and offers advice to the academic community. They are funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and two of the UK Research Councils (EPSRC & BBSRC). With an initial focus on text mining in the biological and biomedical sciences, research has since expanded into the areas of social sciences.
- In the United States, the School of Information at University of California, Berkeley is developing a program called BioText to assist biology researchers in text mining and analysis.
Further, private initiatives also offer tools for academic text mining:
- Newsanalytics.net provides researchers with a free scalable solution for keyword-based text analysis. The initiative's research apps were developed to support news analytics news analytics, but are equally useful for regular text analysis applications.
Software and applications
- AeroText – a suite of text mining applications for content analysis. Content used can be in multiple languages.
- Angoss – Angoss Text Analytics provides entity and theme extraction, topic categorization, sentiment analysis and document summarization capabilities via the embedded Lexalytics Salience Engine. The software provides the unique capability of merging the output of unstructured, text-based analysis with structured data to provide additional predictive variables for improved predictive models and association analysis.
- Attensity – hosted, integrated and stand-alone text mining (analytics) software that uses natural language processing technology to address collective intelligence in social media and forums; the voice of the customer in surveys and emails; customer relationship management; e-services; research and e-discovery; risk and compliance; and intelligence analysis.
- Autonomy – text mining, clustering and categorization software
- Basis Technology – provides a suite of text analysis modules to identify language, enable search in more than 20 languages, extract entities, and efficiently search for and translate entities.
- Clarabridge – text analytics (text mining) software, including natural language (NLP), machine learning, clustering and categorization. Provides SaaS, hosted and on-premise text and sentiment analytics that enables companies to collect, listen to, analyze, and act on the Voice of the Customer (VOC) from both external (Twitter, Facebook, Yelp!, product forums, etc.) and internal sources (call center notes, CRM, Enterprise Data Warehouse, BI, surveys, emails, etc.).
- Cognie – is a pioneering R&D platform that enables the development and generation of custom text analysis engines. It extensively leverages work in machine-learning, NLP, and semantics and also leverages open-source text analysis tools.
- Endeca Technologies – provides software to analyze and cluster unstructured text.
- ESI - Enterprise Semantic Intelligence: Intelligent Solutions with Semantic Technologies
- Expert System S.p.A. – suite of semantic technologies and products for developers and knowledge managers.
- Fair Isaac – leading provider of decision management solutions powered by advanced analytics (includes text analytics).
- Feith Systems - provides text-recognition-abled (including optical character recognition and automated redaction) software solutions for Business Intelligence, KPI dashboards, Enterprise reporting, and records management with automated categorization for structured and unstructured data
- General Sentiment - Social Intelligence platform that uses natural language processing to discover affinities between the fans of brands with the fans of traditional television shows in social media. Stand alone text analytics to capture social knowledge base on billions of topics stored to 2004.
- IBM LanguageWare - the IBM suite for text analytics (tools and Runtime).
- IBM SPSS - provider of Modeler Premium (previously called IBM SPSS Modeler and IBM SPSS Text Analytics), which contains advanced NLP-based text analysis capabilities (multi-lingual sentiment, event and fact extraction), that can be used in conjunction with Predictive Modeling. Text Analytics for Surveys provides the ability to categorize survey responses using NLP-based capabilities for further analysis or reporting.
- Inxight – provider of text analytics, search, and unstructured visualization technologies. (Inxight was bought by Business Objects that was bought by SAP AG in 2008).
- LanguageWare – text analysis libraries and customization software from IBM.
- Language Computer Corporation – text extraction and analysis tools, available in multiple languages.
- Lexalytics - provider of a text analytics engine used in Social Media Monitoring, Voice of Customer, Survey Analysis, and other applications.
- LexisNexis – provider of business intelligence solutions based on an extensive news and company information content set. LexisNexis acquired DataOps to pursue search
- Mathematica – provides built in tools for text alignment, pattern matching, clustering and semantic analysis.
- Medallia - offers one system of record for survey, social, text, written and online feedback.
- NetOwl – suite of multilingual text and entity analytics products, including entity extraction, link and event extraction, sentiment analysis, geotagging, name translation, name matching, and identity resolution, among others.
- Omniviz from Instem Scientific - Data mining and visual analytics tool.
- SAS – SAS Text Miner and Teragram; commercial text analytics, natural language processing, and taxonomy software used for Information Management.
- Smartlogic – Semaphore; Content Intelligence platform containing commercial text analytics, natural language processing, rule-based classification, ontology/taxonomy modelling and information vizualization software used for Information Management.
- StatSoft – provides STATISTICA Text Miner as an optional extension to STATISTICA Data Miner, for Predictive Analytics Solutions.
- Sysomos - provider social media analytics software platform, including text analytics and sentiment analysis on online consumer conversations.
- WordStat - Content analysis and text mining add-on module of QDA Miner for analyzing large amounts of text data.
- Xpresso - XPRESSO, an engine developed by the Abzooba’s core technology group, is focused on the automated distillation of expressions in social media conversations.
- Thomson Data Analyzer – enables complex analysis on patent information, scientific publications and news.
- Carrot2 – text and search results clustering framework.
- GATE – General Architecture for Text Engineering, an open-source toolbox for natural language processing and language engineering
- Gensim - large-scale topic modelling and extraction of semantic information from unstructured text (Python)
- OpenNLP - natural language processing
- Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) – a suite of libraries and programs for symbolic and statistical natural language processing (NLP) for the Python programming language.
- RapidMiner with its Text Processing Extension – data and text mining software.
- Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA) – a component framework to analyze unstructured content such as text, audio and video, originally developed by IBM.
- The programming language R provides a framework for text mining applications in the package tm
- The KNIME Text Processing extension.
- KH Coder - For content analysis, text mining or corpus linguistics.
- The PLOS Text Mining Collection
Until recently, websites most often used text-based searches, which only found documents containing specific user-defined words or phrases. Now, through use of a semantic web, text mining can find content based on meaning and context (rather than just by a specific word).
Additionally, text mining software can be used to build large dossiers of information about specific people and events. For example, large datasets based on data extracted from news reports can be built to facilitate social networks analysis or counter-intelligence. In effect, the text mining software may act in a capacity similar to an intelligence analyst or research librarian, albeit with a more limited scope of analysis.
Text mining is also used in some email spam filters as a way of determining the characteristics of messages that are likely to be advertisements or other unwanted material.
- Approximate nonnegative matrix factorization, an algorithm used for text mining
- BioCreative text mining evaluation in biomedical literature
- Concept Mining
- Name resolution
- Stop words
- Text classification sometimes is considered a (sub)task of text mining.
- Web mining, a task that may involve text mining (e.g. first find appropriate web pages by classifying crawled web pages, then extract the desired information from the text content of these pages considered relevant).
- Sequence mining: String and Sequence Mining
- Noisy text analytics
- Named entity recognition
- Identity resolution
- News analytics
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