MultiConVis: A Visual Text Analytics System for Exploring a Collection of Online Conversations

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The initial interface The user filtered out some conversations from the list using the Timeline located at the top, and then hovered on a conversation item


Online conversations, such as blogs, provide rich amount of information and opinions about popular queries. Given a query, traditional blog sites return a set of conversations often consisting of thousands of comments with complex thread structure. Since the interfaces of these blog sites do not provide any overview of the data, it becomes very difficult for the user to explore and analyze such a large amount of conversational data. In this paper, we present MultiConVis, a visual text analytics system designed to support the exploration of a collection of online conversations. Our system tightly integrates NLP techniques for topic modeling and sentiment analysis with information visualizations, by considering the unique characteristics of online conversations. The resulting interface supports the user exploration, starting from a possibly large set of conversations, then narrowing down to the subset of conversations, and eventually drilling-down to the set of comments of one conversation. Our evaluations through case studies with domain experts and a formal user study with regular blog readers illustrate the potential benefits of our approach, when compared to a traditional blog reading interface.


Video demo: MultiConVis


  • E. Hoque and G. Carenini, MultiConVis: A Visual Text Analytics System for Exploring a Collection of Online Conversations, Proceedings of ACM Intelligent User Interfaces, 2016 [ pdf ]