3.1. Annotations and their uses

In Orange Textable, an annotation is a piece of information attached to a segment. Annotations consist of two parts: key and value. For instance, in the now classical case of the word segmentation of a simple example, segment example could be associated with the annotation {part of speech: noun}; this annotation’s key is part of speech and its value is noun. The same segment could be simultaneously associated with another annotation such as {word category: lexical}, or any {key: value} pair deemed relevant.

Even though we have carefully ignored them so far, annotations play a fundamental role in text data processing and analysis. They make it possible to go beyond the basic level of forms that are “physically” present in a text and tap into the more abstract–and often more interesting–level of the interpretation of these forms.

For instance, the texts composing a given corpus could be annotated with respect to their genre (novel, short story, and so on), and the parts of these texts might be annotated with regard to their discourse type (narrative, description, dialogue, and so on). Such data could be exploited to study the distribution of discourse types as a function of genre, which would be at best extremely difficult, if ever possible, without having encoded the relevant information by means of annotations.

In the following sections, we will first see two simple methods for creating or importing annotations in Orange Textable, and then various ways of exploiting such annotations.