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Conference Paper

Simplify Your Law: Using Information Theory to Deduplicate Legal Documents


Coupette,  Corinna
Business and Tax Law, MPI for Tax Law and Public Finance, Max Planck Society;

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Coupette, C., Singh, J., & Spamann, H. (2021). Simplify Your Law: Using Information Theory to Deduplicate Legal Documents. In IEEE (Ed.), 2021 International Conference on Data Mining Workshops (ICDMW) (pp. 631-638).

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-F742-6
Textual redundancy is one of the main challenges to ensuring that legal texts remain comprehensible and maintainable. Drawing inspiration from the refactoring literature in software engineering, which has developed methods to expose and eliminate duplicated code, we introduce the duplicated phrase detection problem for legal texts and propose the Dupex algorithm to solve it. Leveraging the Minimum Description Length principle from information theory, Dupex identifies a set of duplicated phrases, called patterns, that together best compress a given input text. Through an extensive set of experiments on the Titles of the United States Code, we confirm that our algorithm works well in practice: Dupex will help you simplify your law.