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Reading the Readers: Modelling Complex Humanities Processes to Build Assistive Computational Tools

Terras, M; (2005) Reading the Readers: Modelling Complex Humanities Processes to Build Assistive Computational Tools. In: (Proceedings) Association of History and Computing (UK), University of Cambridge, UK, November 2005.

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Abstract

The ink and stylus tablets discovered at the Roman Fort of Vindolanda are a unique resource for scholars of Ancient history. However, the stylus tablets have proved particularly difficult to read. This paper describes the initial stages in the development of a computer system designed to aid historians in the reading of the stylus tablets. A detailed investigation was undertaken, using Knowledge Elicitation techniques borrowed from Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Psychology, and Computational Linguistics, to elicit the processes experts use whilst reading an ancient text. The resulting model was used as the basis of a computer architecture to construct a system which intakes images of the tablets and outputs plausible interpretations of the documents. It is demonstrated that using Knowledge Elicitation techniques can further the understanding of complex processes in the humanities, and that these techniques can provide an underlying structure for the basis of a computer system which replicates that process. As such it provides significant insight into how experts work in the field of Ancient history and papyrology, whilst providing the means to develop tools to assist them in their complex task.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Reading the Readers: Modelling Complex Humanities Processes to Build Assistive Computational Tools
Event: Association of History and Computing (UK), University of Cambridge, UK, November 2005
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Information Studies
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/4815
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