Looking at differences between language used in Simple vs. English Wikipedia
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Wikipedia jargon analysis

What words are used predominantly on Simple Wikipedia pages, vs. those on English Wikipedia?


pip install -r requirements.txt


The pipeline goes:

  • grab_subjects.py [list of Wikipedia categories, separated by spaces]

  • grab_text.py [list of title files]

  • make_tf_differences.py [n-grams] [text directory] (where n-gram refers to 1 for unigrams, 2 for bigrams, etc)

  • make_tables.py [term-diffs-dir]/*

The categories that I used were:

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Initial analysis

I started off doing this on a small scale, with the math pages. That analysis is available in the initial-math-analysis folder and the notebook here: http://nbviewer.ipython.org/github/samzhang111/wikipedia-jargon/blob/master/initial-math-analysis/Jargon%20in%20Mathematics.ipynb

The included data files are

  • simple-wiki-math.xml --> Simple Wikipedia math category pages
  • wiki-math.xml --> English Wikipedia math category pages
  • *.p --> pickled version of cleaned up, dictionary-fied content of the above
  • term_differences.csv --> output, the actual differences in term frequencies


I wrote this code in 2015. Since then, I think I've gotten a little better at structuring these types of exploratory projects :) (and everything is Python 3 now!). I touched it up so I could finally publish a blog post about this: https://sam.zhang.fyi/projects/2017-04-25-wikipedia-jargon/.