Forskning ved Københavns Universitet - Københavns Universitet

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Tracking Amendments to Legislation and Other Political Texts with a Novel Minimum-Edit-Distance Algorithm: DocuToads.

Publikation: Working paperForskningfagfællebedømt

  • Henrik Alf Jonas Hermansson
  • James Cross
Political scientists often nd themselves tracking amendments to political texts. As different actors weigh in, texts change as they are drafted and redrafted, reflecting political preferences and power. This study provides a novel solution to the problem of detecting amendments to political text based upon minimum edit distances. We demonstrate the usefulness of two language-insensitive, transparent, and efficient minimum-edit-distance algorithms suited for the task. These algorithms are capable of providing an account of the types (insertions, deletions, substitutions, and transpositions) and substantive amount of amendments made between version of texts. To illustrate the usefulness and eciency of the approach we replicate two existing studies from the field of legislative studies. Our results demonstrate that minimum edit distance methods can produce superior measures of text amendments to hand-coded efforts in a fraction of the time and resource costs.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
StatusAfsendt - 2015
NavnJournal of Politics
ISSN0022-3816

ID: 160614376