Intelligent Search of Documents Relating to US-Japanese Relations in the Six Months Prior to Pearl Harbor

Dr. David Woolner
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The FDR/Pearl Harbor Project involves the enhancement of materials drawn from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Digital Archives, which include a range of image, sound, and textual data. The project is undertaking the encoding, annotation, and multi-modal linkage of a portion of the collection, and enhancement of a web-based interface that enables exploitation of state-of-the-art methods for search and retrieval. We are currently developing a pilot project that includes government correspondence and documents produced in the sixth months prior to and including December 7, 1941, the date of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which has obvious historical, political, and general interest.

The major activities in the project involve development of a model for historical documents and associated data and its instantiation using W3 standards, including XML, the Resource Definition Framework (RDF and RDF schemas), and the Ontology Web Language (OWL); development of automated means, or enhancement of existing software, to identify and mark relevant elements within these data; and exploration of the potential to automatically extract ontological information so as to enable sophisticated search and retrieval via inferencing.

In addition, we are examining language use in the documents to develop means to automatically identify indicators of opinion and attitude (e.g., negative vs. positive, conciliatory vs. aggressive, dominance vs. submissive) that will help historical researchers seek out material from digital archives indicative of the state of relations between Japan and the United States in the months prior to the Japanese attack.

The paper being submitted for this conference will examine the utility of the work done to date on this project from the perspective of an historian. Particular attention will be paid in the paper to what the enhanced methods of search and retrieval can tell us about US-Japanese relations in the six months before Pearl Harbor.

Keywords: Intelligent Search and Retrieval
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. David Woolner

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Marist College

David Woolner is Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at Marist College in Pouhkeepsie, New York. Dr Woolner holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from McGill University, and a B.A. summa cum laude in English Literature and History from the University of Minnesota. A specialist in Anglo-American relations and U.S. foreign and economic policy under Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dr Woolner has delivered papers on FDR's foreign policy at conferences in Canada, the United States, Russia, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Korea. He is the editor of FDR and the Environment (forthcoming from Palgrave); FDR, the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church in America, 1933-1945 (Palgrave 2003); The Second Quebec Conference Revisited: (St. Martin's Press, 1998), and an article published in the latter entitled "Coming to Grips with the German Problem: Roosevelt, Churchill and the Morgenthau Plan at the Second Quebec Conference."

Ref: T05P0148