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Advancing Social Science Research by Applying Computational Linguistics

An-Shou Cheng, Kenneth R. Fleischmann, Ping Wang and Douglas W. Oard

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


Recently, there has been a growing trend to apply computational thinking to a wide variety of problems and domains. Simultaneously, the social sciences have increasingly turned to language as a means for understanding human and social dynamics. At the intersection of these two broader trends, computational linguistics is increasingly being applied to domains such as intelligence gathering, machine translation, automated content analysis, automatic text checking, and indexing and retrieval in full-text databases. However, the application of computational linguistics to the social sciences remains an important yet underutilized approach. This paper reviews exemplar applications of computational linguistics to social sciences, lays out useful principles and approaches for such applications, and calls attention to the need for additional work in this area.

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