Annotating Events and Temporal Information in Newswire Texts

If one is concerned with natural language processing applications such as information extraction (IE), which typically involve extracting information about temporally situated scenarios, the ability to accurately position key events in time is of great importance. To date only minimal work has been done in the IE community concerning the extraction of temporal information from text, and the importance, together with the difficulty of the task, suggest that a concerted effort be made to analyse how temporal information is actually conveyed in real texts. To this end we have devised an annotation scheme for annotating those features and relations in texts which enable us to determine the relative order and, if possible, the absolute time, of the events reported in them. Such a scheme could be used to construct an annotated corpus which would yield the benefits normally associated with the construction of such resources: a better understanding of the phenomena of concern, and a resource for the training and evaluation of adaptive algorithms to automatically identify features and relations of interest. We also describe a framework for evaluating the annotation and compute precision and recall for different responses
Published in 2000