A curious case of entropic decay

Persistent complexity in textual cultural heritage

Kristoffer Laigaard Nielbo*, Ina Katrine Frøkjær Baunvig, Bin Liu, Jianbo Gao

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Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

To understand an author’s developmental trajectory, the static traits and properties of author reconstruction and profiling are not sufficient. Instead, it is necessary to focus on high-level indicators of the complex set of variables that underlie the author’s transient mental states during his or her creative production. We propose a method that combines information theory with random fractal theory to study the mental dynamics of an author as indicated by text complexity. To illustrate its application, we analyze the developmental trajectory of the culturally influential and ‘graphomanic’ 19th-century Danish pastor N. F. S. Grundtvig. This approach can detect an age-related trend (entropic decay), a significant Kehre (turning point), and multiple event-related change points in his production. We argue that the approach is applicable beyond the specific case and can be extended to comparative analysis within and between authors, and, finally, to dynamic analysis of cultural information systems.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftDigital Scholarship in the Humanities
Vol/bind34
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)542–557
ISSN2055-7671
DOI
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2019

Fingeraftryk

cultural heritage
Trajectories
cultural system
information theory
Information theory
Fractals
Dynamic analysis
information system
Information systems
reconstruction
event
trend
Trajectory
Decay
Cultural Heritage
Profiling
Comparative Analysis
Change Point
Information Theory
Pastors

Citer dette

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A curious case of entropic decay : Persistent complexity in textual cultural heritage. / Nielbo, Kristoffer Laigaard; Baunvig, Ina Katrine Frøkjær; Liu, Bin; Gao, Jianbo.

I: Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Bind 34, Nr. 3, 09.2019, s. 542–557.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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AU - Nielbo, Kristoffer Laigaard

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AB - To understand an author’s developmental trajectory, the static traits and properties of author reconstruction and profiling are not sufficient. Instead, it is necessary to focus on high-level indicators of the complex set of variables that underlie the author’s transient mental states during his or her creative production. We propose a method that combines information theory with random fractal theory to study the mental dynamics of an author as indicated by text complexity. To illustrate its application, we analyze the developmental trajectory of the culturally influential and ‘graphomanic’ 19th-century Danish pastor N. F. S. Grundtvig. This approach can detect an age-related trend (entropic decay), a significant Kehre (turning point), and multiple event-related change points in his production. We argue that the approach is applicable beyond the specific case and can be extended to comparative analysis within and between authors, and, finally, to dynamic analysis of cultural information systems.

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