Maria-Hendrike Peetz, David Graus, Daan Odijk, Maarten de Rijke and Ork de Rooij
University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Students of history often study dates and events that have little to do with their own life. We make history tangible by showing historic events that are personal and based on a user's own interests (his or her Facebook profile). Often, those events are small-scale and escape history books. By linking personal historic events with global events, we aim to link a user's life with global history, in some way allow him to writing his own personal history book.
We represent a user's Facebook profile as a bag of concepts, by extracting raw text from a profile and applying state-of-the-art entity linking techniques. By leveraging the structured nature of DBPedia we extract historic event entities; these belong to the Event class, or are entities with a startDate-predicate that are not of class Person. We map the DBPedia entities to their corresponding Wikipedia pages. To generate a user's personal timeline, we match his profile entities to the events by applying a variety of similarity metrics. The final selection of historic events a user is presented with is realized through a mix of the user's personal profile, the time spans of his own and, if known, his parents lives, and statistical properties concerning the events. The events in the global history are based on the timeline of modern history available through DBPedia.