Automated Coding of Political Event Data

  • Philip A. SchrodtEmail author
  • David Van Brackle


Political event data have long been used in the quantitative study of international politics, dating back to the early efforts of Edward Azar’s COPDAB [1] andCharles McClelland’s WEIS [18] as well as a variety of more specialized efforts such as Leng’s BCOW [16]. By the late 1980s, the NSF-funded Data Development in International Relations project [20] had identified event data as the second most common form of data—behind the various Correlates of War data sets— used in quantitative studies. The 1990s saw the development of two practical automated event data coding systems, the NSF-funded KEDS (http://eventdata.; [9, 31, 33]) and the proprietary VRA-Reader (; [15, 27]) and in the 2000s, the development of two new political event coding ontologies— CAMEO [34] and IDEA[4,27]—designed for implementation in automated coding systems. A summary of the current status of political event projects, as well as detailed discussions of some of these, can be found in [10, 32].


Natural Language Processing Event Data Machine Translation Automate Code Human Code 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported in part by contracts from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under the Integrated Crisis Early Warning System (ICEWS) program (Prime Contract #FA8650-07-C-7749: Lockheed-Martin Advance Technology Laboratories) as well as grants from the National Science Foundation (SES-0096086, SES-0455158, SES-0527564, SES-1004414) and by a Fulbright-Hays Research Fellowship for work by Schrodt at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo ( The results and findings in no way represent the views of Lockheed-Martin, the Department of Defense, DARPA, or NSF. It has benefitted from extended discussions and experimentation within the ICEWS team and the KEDS research group at the University of Kansas; we would note in particular contributions from Steve Shellman, Hans Leonard, Brandon Stewart, Jennifer Lautenschlager, Andrew Shilliday, Will Lowe, Steve Purpura, Vladimir Petroff, Baris Kesgin and Matthias Heilke.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Political SciencePennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology LaboratoriesKennesawUSA

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