Many Faces of Text Processing
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Why people process text with computers? It all started many years ago, with the main goal in minds of researchers, to understand the text. In the meantime, the area of text processing developed in many different directions whereby the original goals were often forgotten. Funny enough, it seems, in several decades of computerized processing of textual data, the solution to the 'text understanding' problem didn't evolve much compared to some other, easier and often more profitable problems to deal with (such as information retrieval/search, machine translation or information extraction). In this paper we touch various aspects of text processing along several dimensions: (a) how we represent the textual data, (b) what kind of algorithms and techniques we use, and (c) what kind of problems we solve on the top of text. Finally, it is interesting to observe various research communities dealing with textual data in different ways. Most of them are still rather fragmented and don't learn enough from each other ‐ many of the ideas developed within one community don't cross borders of that community for too long.
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