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Parsing dates - Any papers/books?

Posted on 1999-01-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-15
Dear Sir,
   I need to write a program to parse dates in many
various formats: e.g.
    11th Century
    circa 1565
    1900-1910
    12-may-1998:14-june-1998
    Eleventh century
    Early 1300's
    etc
    Are there any journals/papers/books that discuss
    ways of analysing such text?
    Yours
     Allan
    cairs-support@cairs.co.uk  
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Question by:wrobel
3 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:ppeck
ID: 1255555
hi allan,

i suppose you want to extract these dates from files containing text in natural language.
parsing natural language is, however, a rather complicated thing to do. but if you can
narrow your date formats down to a few dozen, it should be possible to utilize
the lex/yacc pair of utilities used to construct compilers for computer languages.
lex and yacc are unix tools and documentation is widely available. give it a try.

if you need more, you should consider using a grammar used for natural language
processing. unfortunately, i cannot point you to any information in this area.

patrick

0
 

Author Comment

by:wrobel
ID: 1255556
Dear Patrick,
     Thanks for replying. I know lex/yacc. But it's the
intellectual effort of working out a BNF (formal grammar)
that can pick out dates from text, that's really what I'm
looking for. Failing that some papers discussing the subject
would come in useful.
     Yours
     Allan
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Accepted Solution

by:
hougaard earned 200 total points
ID: 1255557
This is THE book in the area of date/times in C programming

"Sandard C Date/Time Library; Programming the Worlds Calendars and Clocks"

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0879304960/qid%3D915700708/002-2243170-2100429

R&D Books; ISBN: 0879304960

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