Someone and Anyone

“I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn’t expect to arrive.”

Topical Anchors

with 4 comments

My friend Aditya is conducting an experiment about “topical anchors”. Given a set of related words, a topical anchor is a word or phrase that best represents the given set of words. Quoting Aditya:

For example, if given the words ‘Sachin Tendulkar’, ‘Sourav Ganguly’ and ‘Rahul Dravid’, you have to answer with words about the subject they represent like ‘Cricket’, ‘India’ and you can also add ‘Batsmen’.


For the words ‘Mickey Mouse’, ‘Donald Duck’ and ‘Goofy’, you can think of the representative words to be ‘Disney’ and ‘cartoon’. There is no one right answer to the questions but do not be too generic by answering ‘humans’, ‘earthlings’ for the above mentioned cricketers and similarly do not be opinionated by answering ‘gods of cricket’, ‘old losers’. We need an answer which will represent the words best.

Aditya has developed some algorithms for automatically determining the topical anchors for a given set of words. He wants to calibrate his algorithms against human feedback. So, if you’re free, please do participate in this experiment and provide feedback.



4 Responses

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  1. Just compeleted the 100 question review. Where’s my chocolate? 😀

    It was an interesting one. By comparing a large set of answers we can get a good idea of what are the terms that people commonly associate with something while which others are more eclectic …


    October 27, 2008 at 11:06 pm

  2. @Sagar

    Aditya promised the chocolate, I didn’t. 😉 😀

    By the way, a discussion on Aditya’s work has been going on at the Oktave Forum. You may find it interesting:



    October 27, 2008 at 11:35 pm

  3. Thanks for this post. The response had been very good. I hope it continues to be the same.


    October 27, 2008 at 11:47 pm

  4. @Aditya

    No problem, dude. All the best with the experiments.


    October 27, 2008 at 11:50 pm

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