Monday, November 28, 2011

Reaction: Information Visualization for Text Analysis

This article explores how to perform analysis of text in a condensed form using information visualization techniques and how various systems are doing such work.  Prior to information visualization techniques, search was the primary text analysis tool but, if analytic examination needs to be performed then search is a poor tool.  The paper proceeds by going through various systems that showcase different techniques.

First is an attempt at visualization of identifying entities and discerning connections between them and providing that information visually through connecting lines to words.  This concept was expounded upon by the Jigsaw system which provided two columns of ordered lists with connections through the middle.  Other systems use rows and groupings to provide categorizations for browsing of search data.  SeeSoft takes lines of text and highlights connected words using colors to indicate matching groupings.  Their system was originally written for programmers who spend most of their time in a text based world to do reviews and refactorings.  The system was expanded to be able to be used in fictions books and the Bible.  The last systems touched on were generic word clouds and the NameVoyager system.  NameVoyager as we have seen in class provides baby names in a stacked bar graph that allows for filtering down to see more or less condensed data.  All in all this article provides a good overview for anyone needing to see what is out there in the world of analytic text analysis.  This article feeds in to the next selection of readings that explore some of the individual systems mentioned here.