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I wrote

Unlike a free-text document, which requires natural language processing techniques to extract information, extracting structured data from semi-structured web documents is easier as they use HTML tags to typeset small pieces of information in tables or lists.

Should it be "that requires" as a restrictive relative clause? Because I use it in the reason?

2 Answers 2

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Your text as written is correct.

If you had written,

a free-text document that requires natural language processing techniques,

you would be saying, "So, some text-free documents require these techniques, and some don't. I'm talking only about the kind that does. Semi-structured web documents are not like that kind."

Instead, you've written,

a free-text document, which requires natural language processing techniques,

and are saying, "as you may know, text-free documents typically require special techniques for processing. Semi-structured web documents are different."

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I'm pretty sure the relative clause should be non-restrictive.

As I understand it, under your definition extracting information from all free texts requires natural language processing, so you're not speaking of a restricted set of free-text documents; you're adding information which is true of any free-text document.

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  • Yes, my sentence is not that valid, I could say "Unlike a free-text document, which requires advanced techniques like natural language processing, ......"
    – Ahmad
    Sep 3, 2015 at 17:17
  • However currently I just wrote the idea as * A web page is commonly referred to as a semi-structured data source, in contrast with a plain text, which is mainly regarded as an unstructured data source. A semi-structured web document uses HTML tags to typeset small pieces of information in tables or lists. Therefore, extracting structured data from this type of document is easier.*
    – Ahmad
    Sep 3, 2015 at 17:17
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    @Ahmad You could write something like "Unlike free-text documents, whose analysis depends on close attention to complex and often ambiguous orthographic and linguistic clues, . . ." Sep 3, 2015 at 17:24

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