Algorithmic Interpretation

abstract: An algorithmic form of "reading" view as pdf


In 2000 Moretti has introduced the concept of “distant reading”1. Later, he and his group performed detailed analysis of literary texts2, which seems to parallel a human reading. The present contribution models the reading process of a person reading a literary text by a set of automated processes and demonstrates the type and amount of knowledge the reader contributes to the reading. The model breaks the reading process into steps and identifies the knowledge used in each step of the natural reading process (as they are introduced by the natural reader).

When constructing “automated reading” with the aim at further developing ways of “algorithmic interpretation”, in digital literary analysis (DLA), the ad- ditional information added to the text must be identified and documented when reporting results. The approach is outlined and then demonstrated using an example from digital literary animal studies, automatically identifying text pieces from a corpus of 400 English fiction texts mostly from the 17th, 18th, and 19th cen- turies, but the results are not language specific, provided the knowledge necessary is available in an encoded form.

description of intentions and a pdf of draft text

Algee-Hewitt, Bridget FB, Michael D Edge, Jaehee Kim, Jun Z Li, and Noah A Rosenberg. “Individual identifiability predicts population identifiability in forensic microsatellite markers.” Current Biology 26, no. 7 (2016): 935–942.

Moretti, Franco. Distant reading. Verso Books, 2013.

  1. Franco Moretti, Distant reading (Verso Books, 2013).↩︎

  2. Bridget FB Algee-Hewitt et al., “Individual identifiability predicts population identifiability in forensic microsatellite markers,” Current Biology 26, no. 7 (2016): 935–942.↩︎

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