Named Entities and the News. Named Entity Recognition applied to… | by Felix van Deelen | Jul, 2023


Everything about [YOUR NAMED ENTITY HERE]

We took the case study using all articles on the World Cup 2022 one step further and posed ourselves the question “Can we use NER to generate summaries for a Named Entity?”. We started by developing a module that collects all articles mentioning a given NE, which could serve as a collection of all information available on the given NE for users particularly interested in this NE. But, more interestingly, the module collects all sentences from this collection in which the NE is mentioned, resulting a summary of the collection. As an example, we applied the module for Andries Noppert, the goalkeeper for the Dutch national team. From Figure 3 it can already be seen that Noppert has been mentioned quite frequently during the event. Applying the module for Noppert resulted in a summary that quite nicely outlines the remarkable story of our goalkeeper, which is shown below as translated from Dutch.

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2022-11-11
- Noppert joining as a penalty killer?
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2022-11-16
- sc Heerenveen goalkeeper Andries Noppert is the nineteenth premier league player in Qatar.
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2022-11-20
- 'Don't worry about Qatar and Ecuador' and 'Failure on goal is a gamble' Analysts Leonne Stentler and Pierre van Hooijdonk agree.
- Van Gaal does not say anything about Noppert's base place, but hints at Gakpo 'at 10' According to various media, 28-year-old Andries Noppert, who plays for sc Heerenveen, would make his debut for the Orange squad against Senegal on Monday.
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2022-11-21
- Is Noppert the base goalkeeper now?
- Noppert: 'This is what you dream of as a boy' Goalkeeper Andries Noppert turned out not to suffer from stage fright against Senegal.
- Will Noppert succeed first World Cup debutant Schoenaker?
- Goalkeeper Andries Noppert makes his debut in Orange and can look back on a successful first international match.
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2022-11-22
- 'Disarming' Noppert takes the stage: 'In the Netherlands we are all whining' The 28-year-old goalkeeper of sc Heerenveen made his debut on Monday in the World Cup match against Senegal in the Dutch national team.
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2022-11-23
- Noppert?
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2022-11-24
- The Foggia episode of Orange keeper Noppert: 'He smoked like a chimney' Andries Noppert is suddenly a well-known Dutchman after the World Cup match of the Netherlands against Senegal.
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2022-11-25
- Jurriën Timber, Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Aké had their defenses well organized and Andries Noppert once again proved to be a reliable goalkeeper.
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2022-12-03
- View the reactions of Virgil van Dijk and Andries Noppert here: In that team, one of the important players is just back in his familiar spot in the attack.
- Andries Noppert made a good save with his left leg.
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2022-12-07
- Noppert lives soberly towards Argentina: 'Messi can also miss penalties, can't he?'
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2022-12-09
- So yes..." Noppert's fairy tale ended It could have been so beautiful for sc Heerenveen goalkeeper Andries Noppert, but the keeper on the other side, Emiliano Martinez, became the great hero.
- The Argentinian wingback Molina ran away from the back of his Dutch colleague Blind, Virgil van Dijk was just too late to correct and Molina passed Andries Noppert.
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2022-12-16
- Six striking World Cup facts: Amrabat conquers, Modric dribbles, Noppert saves Remarkable statistics everywhere during the World Cup in Qatar.
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2022-12-18
- Andries Noppert (Netherlands) Vermeulen: "The same goes for Noppert, of course.

So far we have seen that NEs are abundant in news articles and that applying NER can provide some interesting insights. There is one more experiment that we think is interesting to share in this blog relating to the research question “Can we use NER to improve our content-based recommendation system?”. Earlier on we developed a content-based recommendation system which was recently integrated into our news app. Using both online and offline tests we compared various models and optimisations, and we now observe an increased click-through-rate in our app. This is all great news, but we are always looking for ways to improve our recommendation system further. We received feedback from our editorial teams stating the recommender is confused for articles containing names of persons or places that are also regular words in the Dutch language. In the following section we report on an experiment using NER in an attempt to solve for this type of ambiguity.

The experiment

Our current recommendation system is based on cosine similarities using TF-IDF to vectorize texts. This basically means it relies heavily on word overlap to identify similar articles, but assigns higher relevance to words that are rare. One can imagine this method does not hold up when words have multiple meanings, which can be the case for NEs. As an example consider an article about the golfer Tiger Woods: a basic recommendation system might find related articles mentioning the animal tiger or articles about the woods. These would obviously not be useful recommendations. We hypothesised that this could be solved by introducing NE-awareness in our recommender by means of annotating NEs in texts by their type. In this case, the tokens would no longer overlap, as illustrated in Figure 5.



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