Creating a Dead Poets Society: Extracting a Social Network of Historical Persons from the Web

, and . Proceedings of the 6th International Semantic Web Conference and 2nd Asian Semantic Web Conference (ISWC/ASWC2007), Busan, South Korea, volume 4825 of LNCS, page 155--168. Berlin, Heidelberg, Springer Verlag, (November 2007)


We present a simple method to extract information from search engine snippets. Although the techniques presented are domain independent, this work focuses on extracting biographical information of historical persons from multiple unstructured sources on the Web. We first similarly find a list of persons and their periods of life by querying the periods and scanning the retrieved snippets for person names. Subsequently, we find biographical informationfor the persons extracted. In order to get insight in the mutual relations among the persons identified, we create a social network using co-occurrences on the Web. Although we use uncontrolled and unstructured Web sources, the information extracted is reliable. Moreover we show that Web Information Extraction can be used to create both informative and enjoyable applications.

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