Demonstrating conceptual dynamics in an evolving text collection

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Abstract

Based on real-world user demands, we demonstrate how animated visualization of evolving text corpora displays the underlying dynamics of semantic content. To interpret the results, one needs a dynamic theory of word meaning. We suggest that conceptual dynamics as the interaction between kinds of intellectual and emotional content and language is key for such a theory. We demonstrate our method by two-way seriation, which is a popular technique to analyze groups of similar instances and their features as well as the connections between the groups themselves. The two-way seriated data may be visualized as a two-dimensional heat map or as a three-dimensional landscape in which color codes or height correspond to the values in the matrix. In this article, we focus on two-way seriation of sparse data in the Reuters-21568 test collection. To achieve a meaningful visualization, we introduce a compactly supported convolution kernel similar to filter kernels used in image reconstruction and geostatistics. This filter populates the high-dimensional sparse space with values that interpolate nearby elements and provides insight into the clustering structure. We also extend two-way seriation to deal with online updates of both the row and column spaces and, combined with the convolution kernel, demonstrate a three-dimensional visualization of dynamics.

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