Category Archives: for the record


The adjective decadent is included in several lists of negative terms compiled for sentiment analysis systems, but how is the term used? I looked in real life data from customer reviews and news.

  • … Eating one is good. Eating two is great. Eating three is decadent, and awesome on an
    empty stomach. Eat four and you start to feel sick. …
  • Love this amazing fusion dessert. Sounds exotic and looks soooo decadent. …
  • A tailored take on the label’s romantic aesthetic, Elie Saab’s crepe jumpsuit is a
    decadent choice for evening events
  • So let’s all raise a glass and hope we get many more decades of this decadent local staple
  • Dense and wickedly chocolatey, the decadent dessert is best shared for greater enjoyment.
  • I’m surrounded by soft, glowing candles while enjoying a glass of rich red wine and a box
    of decadent dark chocolate
  • If you’re feeling decadent, put a pinch of crumbled bacon or a couple of sun-dried
    tomatoes in an egg white omelet
  • Come join us for some more decadent daytime disco and house partying
  • … and many more examples

Almost none were negative. Most frequent topic was chocolate.


Talk at NLP lunch

Today, I gave a hastily put together talk on my current experimentation on attitudinal adjectival expressions in the NLP group lunch. Fun, but somewhat rhapsodic, since the experiments are as of yet incomplete! (I will update when I have more to tell).

|-----not small----------------|
           |-------------not large-----------|
                                      not ill^
|-----------not healthy----------------------O

One of the things I wanted to stress is to think about the utility of introducing linguistic sophistication for practical information system purposes. I posited three levels of use cases for large scale text

  1. what are they talking about?
  2. how are they talking about it?
  3. what are they saying about it?

Slides are here.

Dolphins at VIHAR

On this day our position paper A proposal to use distributional models to analyse dolphin vocalization outlining our plans to work with dolphin vocalisation using distributional semantics was presented at the 1st International Workshop on Vocal Interactivity in-and-between Humans, Animals and Robots. The paper was presented by Mats Amundin, and co-authors were Robert Eklund, Henrik Hållsten, and Lars Molinder, who came up with the original idea.

Visiting Scholar at Stanford

This coming academic year of 2017-18 I will be at Stanford University, at its Department of Linguistics. I am looking forward to tugging at some of the most interesting loose ends from the past few years of technology development at Gavagai in the hope of finding interesting seams to work!
Professor Martin Kay, who hosts my visit, took me in for an internship at Xerox PARC in 1991. Now he will be again pointing out the best directions to develop.

Föreläsning för humaniorastudenter

Jag var inbjuden att hålla en föreläsning om i stort sett vad som helst jag nu kunde tänkas vilja tala om för humaniorastudenter på humanistdagen på Stockholms universitet på institutionen där jag tagit både grund- och doktorsexamen. Jag försökte anlägga sträng min och tala om sådant som humanister borde göra istället för det de gör när de träffar på en dator. Lite ljusbilder här!

industrial take on complex search tasks

This morning, I gave a presentation to the workshop on
Supporting Complex Search Tasks on how we at Gavagai handle complex information needs. Mostly I claimed three things:

  • Complexity is not necessarily in the formulation of the information need. Most of our customers perceive themselves as having simple information needs. Or at least those needs are simple to formulate in informal language. We believe an information system should accommodate this, and if needs indeed are complex or change, allow simple and painless reformulation.
  • Greatest challenge is in attention to new information — introducing new information aggregation tools will add business complexity, not reduce it.
  • Evaluation of information systems in the way it is done in academia is good for assessing progress on the cutting edge. Industry has greater need for establishing Best Practice guidelines and in satisficing technology needs than in optimising them.

Slides for my talk on Complex aspects of seemingly simple information needs.

In interesting discussions after the initial presentations, the workshop discussed the need for a quality assessment of data collection methodology. We expect to suggest such a procedure for next year’s edition of this workshop.