In addition to providing a facility for comparing documents using the same algorithm the scorer uses,
MAT also provides a weaker capability, which we call document
alignment. In this method, the annotations for the documents
being aligned are simply viewed on the same document view; the
comparison between the annotations is left to the interpretation
of the user. This strategy only works with span annotations; while
you can align documents containing relation annotations, you won't
see the annotations. This function was introduced before MAT was
able to deal with spanless annotations, and while the comparison
view is more informative, there's no reason to remove this
As in document comparison, documents may be aligned if they have
the identical underlying signal.
From the file menu, select "Align files...". You'll be presented
with a modal dialog that looks like this:
From this dialog, you must first select a task. Once you do,
you'll be able to make a selection from the "Align:" menu. This
menu contains a list of all the available documents which have
been loaded with the selected task (including workspace
documents), plus an option to "Load document...". Select an
element and press the "Go!" button, and the document will be
Once the first document is selected, only documents with a
matching underlying signal which haven't been selected previously
will be available for selection:
The "Load document..." option will place another modal dialog at
the front which allows you to select a document in the usual way.
Once you open this document, it too will be listed in the "Align
The elements in the "Align documents" document list can be reordered. You can
select as many documents as you like. Once at least two documents
have been selected, the "Align" button will be enabled.
Before you press the "Align" button, you might want to customize
the alignment presentation.
You have a number of options available to you for your alignment
presentation. You can choose where the annotations for a given
document will be shown (above, behind, or below the text) and
whether to associate a mnemonic initial with a given document.
To the left of each entry in the "Align documents" dialog you'll
see either "[Reference]", or a menu with the values "above" and
"below". The reference can be selected by clicking the radio
button, as instructed; the reference document is always placed
behind the text. The menus can be used to place the remaining
documents either above or below the text; the document annotations
for those documents will be stacked in the order in which the
documents are listed.
Below each entry is a place to enter an mnemonic initial, in the
"Initial:" field. This initial will appear in the list of
documents at the head of the alignment display, and also in the
annotation description at the bottom of the alignment display when
you hover your mouse over the annotation. If no initial is
provided, a number will be assigned.
Here's the alignment dialogue above with the documents placed in
their intended positions, and initials provided:
Now, press the "Align" button. Your window will look like this:
Note that the documents are listed in the panel on the right,
with their initials and positions, and that the mouse in this
example is hovering over one of the annotations from the document
corresponding to annotator A.
At this point, if you like, you can reconcile the documents in
this alignment via "File -> Reconcile these documents".