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From Mario Gazzo <mario.ga...@gmail.com>
Subject Approach for keeping track of formatting associated with text views
Date Wed, 18 Feb 2015 20:46:04 GMT
We are starting to use the UIMA framework for NL processing article text, which is usually
stored with metadata in some XML format. We need to extract text elements to be processed
by various NL analysis engines that only work with pure text but we also need to keep track
of the formatting information related to the processed text. It is in general also valuable
for us to be able to track every annotation back to the original XML to maintain provenance.
Before embarking on this I like to validate our approach with more experienced users since
this is the first application we are building with UIMA.

In the first step we would annotate every important element of the XML including formatting
elements in the body. We maintain some DOM-like relationships between the body text and formatting
annotations so that text formatting can be reproduced later with NLP annotations in some article

Next we would in another AE produce a pure text view of the text annotations in the XML view
that need to be NL analysed. In this new text view we would annotate the different text elements
with references back to their counterpart in the original XML view so that we can trace back
positions in the original XML and the formatting relations. This of course will require mapping
NLP annotation offsets in the text view back to the XML view but the information should then
be there to make this possible.

This approach requires somewhat more handcrafted book keeping than we initially hoped would
be necessary. We haven’t been able to find any examples of how this is usually done and
the UIMA docs are vague regarding managing this kind of relationships across views. We would
therefore really like to know if there is a simpler and better approach.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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