Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 248–262 | Cite as

Conditional random fields for entity extraction and ontological text coding



Previous research suggests that one field with a strong yet unsatisfied need for automatically extracting instances of various entity classes from texts is the analysis of socio-technical systems (Feldstein in Media in Transition MiT5, 2007; Hampe et al. in Netzwerkanalyse und Netzwerktheorie, 2007; Weil et al. in Proceedings of the 2006 Command and Control Research and Technology Symposium, 2006; Diesner and Carley in XXV Sunbelt Social Network Conference, 2005). Traditional as well as non-traditional and customized sets of entity classes and the relationships between them are often specified in ontologies or taxonomies. We present a Conditional Random Fields (CRF)-based approach to distilling a set of entities that are defined in an ontology originating from organization science. CRF, a supervised sequential machine learning technique, facilitates the derivation of relational data from corpora by locating and classifying instances of various entity classes. The classified entities can be used as nodes for the construction of socio-technical networks. We find the outcome sufficiently accurate (82.7 percent accuracy of locating and classifying entities) for future application in the described problem domain. We propose using the presented methodology as a crucial step in the process of advanced modeling and analysis of complex and dynamic networks.


Ontological Text Coding Semantic networks Entity Extraction Supervised machine learning Conditional models Conditional Random Fields 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer Science, Institute for Software Research, Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS)Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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