Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Marti Hearst, Search User Interfaces

I have been reading Marti Hearst's excellent Search User Interfaces, which is fully available at Of particular interest to me is her chapter on Information Visualization for Text Analysis. She writes "the categorical nature of text, and its very high dimensionality, make it very challenging to display graphically" and goes on to present a number of ways to handle display of text analysis results from concordances to directed graphs. This is certain something to consider for any future renovation of PhiloLogic and our related systems. We do have collocation clouds and I did a quick implementation of word frequency histograms (link) in PhiloLogic. But these are very rudimentary. Some of the examples in Hearst's a quite remarkable and we might want to model extensions of PhiloLogic on some of these.

One final note for you scribblers out here. She has a couple of entries on about how she talked her publisher (Cambridge) to let her put the book online for free and why. :-)

An important and visually compelling site/book.