Clustering Similar Amendments at the Italian Senate

In this paper we describe an experiment for the application of text clustering techniques to dossiers of amendments to proposed legislation discussed in the Italian Senate. The aim is to assist the Senate staff in the detection of groups of amendments similar in their textual formulation in order to schedule their simultaneous voting. Experiments show that the exploitation (extraction, annotation and normalization) of domain features is crucial to improve the clustering performance in many problematic cases not properly dealt with by standard approaches. The similarity engine was implemented and integrated as an experimental feature in the internal application used for the management of amendments in the Senate Assembly and Committees. Thanks to the Open Data strategy pursued by the Senate for several years, all documents and data produced by the institution are publicly available for reuse in open formats.

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