Abstract: In an effort to better understand meaning from natural language texts, we explore methods aimed at organizing lexical objects into contexts. A number of these methods for organization fall into a family defined by word ordering. Unlike demographic or spatial partitions of data, these collocation models are of special importance for their universal applicability in the presence of ordered symbolic data (e.g., text, speech, genes, etc...). Our approach focuses on the phrase (whether word or larger) as the primary meaning-bearing lexical unit and object of study. To do so, we employ our previously developed framework for generating word-conserving phrase-frequency data. Upon training our model with the Wiktionary—an extensive, online, collaborative, and open-source dictionary that contains over 100, 000 phrasal-definitions—we develop highly effective filters for the identification of meaningful, missing phrase-entries. With our predictions we then engage the editorial community of the Wiktionary and propose short lists of potential missing entries for definition, developing a breakthrough, lexical extraction technique, and expanding our knowledge of the defined English lexicon of phrases.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).