Conference paper Open Access

The Love Equation: Computational Modeling of Romantic Relationships in French Classical Drama

Karstorp, Folgert; Kestemont, Mike; Schöch, Christof; van den Bosch, Antal

We report on building a computational model of romantic relationships in a corpus of historical literary texts. We frame this task as a ranking problem in which, for a given character, we try to assign the highest rank to the character with whom (s)he is most likely to be romantically
involved. As data we use a publicly available corpus of French 17th and 18th century plays ( which is well suited for this type of analysis because of the rich markup it provides (e.g. indications of characters speaking). We focus on distributional, so-called second-order features, which capture how speakers are contextually embedded in the texts. At a mean reciprocal rate (MRR) of 0.9 and MRR@1 of 0.81, our results are encouraging, suggesting that this approach might be successfully extended to other forms of social interactions in literature, such as antagonism or social power relations.


Files (507.2 kB)
Name Size
507.2 kB Download
Views 90
Downloads 67
Data volume 34.0 MB
Unique views 78
Unique downloads 67


Cite as