Scientific American: Word ‘Bursts’ Could

Scientific American: Word ‘Bursts’ Could Help Refine Web Searches: “To test his approach, Kleinberg used the algorithm to scrutinize the full text of all the State of the Union addresses given since 1790. The “bursts” that the program identified matched important events occurring at the time certain speeches were delivered. For instance, in the aftermath of the American Revolution, “militia” and “British” were among the flagged words, whereas “atomic” displayed substantial “burst” between 1947 and 1959. Such trends are intuitive to people, Kleinberg notes, but a computer, which lacks historical context, still successfully identified them solely by scanning raw text. He posits that the new approach could help narrow web searches by better recognizing the time context of a query.”

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