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Extracting data from the web can serve a broad spectrum of data-centric applications. The human effort required in large scale extraction tasks signicantly affects both the flexibility and the cost.

Should "the" at the beginning of the second sentence be used?

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"The" is required before "human effort" because that noun phrase is modified by the restrictive reduced clause "required in large-scale extraction tasks."

Notice how "the" is no longer necessary in this more general statement:

  • Human effort is always required for large-scale extraction tasks.

Also notice that the definite article should be eliminated in the last phrase:

  • ... both flexibility and cost.

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