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Exploring topic events and event relationships within TDT topics http://www.ldc.upenn.edu/Projects/Topic_Gran. T o p i c G r a n u l a r i t y. Topic Granularity Investigation (In progress) Motivation Current TDT topic-based annotation - too coarse? TDT topics vary in granularity

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t o p i c g r a n u l a r i t y
Exploring topic events and event relationships

within TDT topics


T o p i c G r a n u l a r i t y
Topic Granularity Investigation (In progress)


Current TDT topic-based annotation - too coarse?

TDT topics vary in granularity

some events minimal hits, others may join large number of events defined as related under rules of interpretation.


(retaining definitions established for TDT topics/events/stories)

A) investigate topic granularity (events within topics)

Read all on-topic stories, identify multiple TDT-style events (specific occurrence at specific time and place)

annotate stories for relevance to each event

using search engine, perform complete search-guided annotation of the new set of events

B) investigate relations among events

Will be completed as time/budget allow


What counts as an event?

Direct action

“President Clinton left today for a tour of South Korea”

Reported activities

“President Clinton …called completely unacceptable a demand by North Korea for $300 million before American inspectors can check out sites.”

Official Announcements - First statements regarding event.

“The Clinton administration said Friday the U.S. is ruling out a resumption of American aid to Cambodia until the ruling party forms a coalition government with its rivals.

Unconfirmed report: the statement is the event

“A government statement quotes the railway minister as saying the accident could have been caused by a broken coupler that links the train cars together, or by a fractured rail. But nothing is official.”

Weather/Disaster, Discovery stories

several events in small span of time as new findings uncovered.

“At least 92 people were killed when two train collided today in India. 141 people were injured.”

“Giant cranes untangles piled up train carriages Friday to uncover more victims--”

Defining Events

event differences
Implicit bias present in news reporting - reporting style guides reader to certain conclusions and relationships between events.

expect impact in establishment of relationships between events

Difference in presentation by source and language.

Events reported as explicit facts in Mandarin.

More reporter analysis, commentary present in English sources.

Events reported in one language, not reported in other language sources

Event Differences
On topic stories / events identified

3001 - Government Coalition

3003 - Pinochet Trial

3016- Swissair Crash

3049 - North Korean Nuclear Facility

3057 - Indian Train Derailment

Complete Annotation

Re-annotate corpus in regard to events for five topics

Time permitting……..

Categorize Relations (links) between events

(same event, independent event, consequence.)

Allow multiple specialists (non-specialists?) to categorize same data


article example
PARIS (AP) -- French authorities on Thursday officially asked Britain to extradite former Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet so he can face charges related to the disappearance of French citizens.

A Justice Ministry statement said the extradition request was sent to British authorities via the French Foreign Ministry.

A French court sent a temporary arrest warrant for Pinochet to British authorities on Nov. 3, accusing him of ``sequestration followed by torture.'' It was the final step necessary before France could officially ask for extradition.

Three French families have filed complaints against Pinochet in France. The relative of one of them, Etienne Pesle, disappeared after military officials arrested him in his office in September 1973. He had lived for several years in Chile with his Chilean wife and three children.

The last report of Pesle seen alive was by a Chilean soldier, who said he saw Pesle soon after being driven out of a military camp, his hands tied behind his back.

Pinochet was arrested Oct. 16 in London on a Spanish extradition warrant citing charges of genocide, torture and kidnapping during his 17-year rule, which began in 1973 when he toppled Salvador Allende. Switzerland also has requested Pinochet's arrest and extradition on charges of murder, kidnapping and torture.

And Chilean exiles in Sweden, Belgium, Norway and Germany have filed criminal complaints they hope will lead to extradition requests.

In Britain Thursday, prosecutors wrapped up their appeal of a court ruling allowing Pinochet immunity from prosecution there, arguing that the crimes against humanity he is charged with ``unequivocally'' violate international law.

A report by Chile's government says about 3,000 people were killed or disappeared at the hands of secret police under Pinochet. Chile has protested his arrest, saying it strains the country's democracy.

Article example
North Korean Nuclear crisis


Event was reported in :



Both Lang.

multiple events same day
10/18 Some members of Chile's ruling coalition government say that justice should be allowed to "take its course," and refuse to intervene in the arrest of Pinochet.


10/18 Anti-Pinochet Demonstrators, mostly Chilean nationals living in London, gather outside the London clinic where Pinochet is recovering from back surgery to show their support for the former dictator's arrest and extradition. NYT19981018.0098

10/18 The arrest of Pinochet by British officials on behalf of Spain sparks a political debate in Britain between the present Labor govt. and the opposition "Tories" who while in power regularly permitted Pinochet to enter and leave England.


10/18 US officials have agreed to provide Spanish authorities with documents related to human rights abuses in Chile during Pinochet's reign. NYT19981018.0123

Multiple events same day

“A seminal event or activity, plus all derivative (directly related) facts, events, or activities.”


“A reported occurrence at a specific time and place, and the unavoidable consequences. Specific elections, accidents, crimes, natural disasters.”


“A connected set of actions that have a common focus or purpose - campaigns, investigations, disaster relief efforts”


“A story is a newswire article or a segment of news broadcast with a coherent news focus”