Public Debates on the Web

  • Fabian GilsonEmail author
  • André Bittar
  • Pierre-Yves Schobbens
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10360)


With the advent of social media, any piece of information may be spread all over the world in no time. Furthermore, the vast number of available communication channels makes it difficult to cross-check information that has been (re-)published on different media in real time. In this context where people may express their positions on many subjects, as well as launching new open initiatives, the public needs a mean to gather and compare ideas and opinions in a structured manner. The present paper presents the Open image in new window project, which aims to develop a collaborative platform where opinions, namely arguments, are gathered, analyzed and linked to one another via explicit relations. Open image in new window relies on various Natural Language Processing modules to semi-automatically extract information from the web and propose meaningful visualizations to the platform’s contributors. Furthermore, public actors may be identified and attached to the ideas they publish to create a structured knowledge base where annotated texts, extracted positions and alliances may be identified.


Social web Public debate Argumentation Speech acts Natural language processing 



This work is funded by the Walloon Region of Belgium, under convention no. 1318202 (Programme Germaine Tillion). The authors also thank, in alphabetic order, L.-A. Cougnon, B. Delvaux, C. Fairon, P. Francq, S. Roekhaut and D. Uygur for their various contributions to this project.

Website and sources. A running instance of the platform can be found at The sources are distributed under the LGPL license and available at


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabian Gilson
    • 1
    Email author
  • André Bittar
    • 2
  • Pierre-Yves Schobbens
    • 1
  1. 1.PReCISE Research CenterUniversity of NamurNamurBelgium
  2. 2.Centre for Natural Language ProcessingUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-neuveBelgium

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