Temporal Text Mining: The TTM Testbench
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This master thesis presents the Temporal Text Mining(TTM) Testbench, an application for discovering association rules in temporal document collections. It is a continuation of work done in a project the fall of 2005 and work done in a project the fall of 2006. These projects have laid the foundation for this thesis. The focus of the work is on identifying and extracting meaningful terms from textual documents to improve the meaningfulness of the mined association rules. Much work has been done to compile the theoretical foundation of this project. This foundation has been used for assessing different approaches for finding meaningful and descriptive terms. The old TTM Testbench has been extended to include usage of WordNet, and operations for finding collocations, performing word sense disambiguation, and for extracting higher-level concepts and categories from the individual documents. A method for rating association rules based on the semantic similarity of the terms present in the rules has also been implemented. This was done in an attempt to narrow down the result set, and filter out rules which are not likely to be interesting. Experiments performed with the improved application shows that the usage of WordNet and the new operations can help increase the meaningfulness of the rules. One factor which plays a big part in this, is that synonyms of words are added to make the term more understandable. However, the experiments showed that it was difficult to decide if a rule was interesting or not, this made it impossible to draw any conclusions regarding the suitability of semantic similarity for finding interesting rules. All work on the TTM Testbench so far has focused on finding association rules in web newspapers. It may however be useful to perform experiments in a more limited domain, for example medicine, where the interestingness of a rule may be more easily decided.