Visual Analytics for Investigative Analysis and Exploration of Documents and Data

Friday, April 6th 2012, 10:30am
302 Building, Room 106


Whether investigators are fighting crime, curing diseases, deciding what car to buy, or researching a new field, inevitably they will encounter text documents. Unfortunately, plain (unstructured) text documents are difficult to analyze and understand, especially large collections of documents. The new field of visual analytics holds promise for helping investigators with such problems. Visual analytics combines computational data analysis with interactive visualization in the context of understanding how people think and reason. It can be particularly effective in situations when the data is large and unfamiliar, and the analyst must browse and explore to learn about a situation or domain. In this talk I will describe principles from the field, illustrating how visualizations help people make sense of data. Additionally, I will introduce the Jigsaw visual analytics system that helps investigators explore and understand collections of unstructured and semi-structured text documents. In essence, Jigsaw helps investigators "put the pieces together" and gain a deeper understanding of the contents of the documents. The system pairs computational text analysis with a collection of visualizations that each portray different aspects of the documents, including connections between entities.

Speaker Bio

John Stasko is a Professor in and the Associate Chair of the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Stasko is an internationally recognized and widely published researcher in the area of human-computer interaction, with a specific focus on information visualization and visual analytics. His Information Interfaces Research Group develops ways to help people and organizations explore, analyze, and make sense of data in order to solve problems. Stasko, named an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2011, has been Program Co-Chair for IEEE Information Visualization (InfoVis) Conference, and the IEEE Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST) and the ACM Software Visualization (SoftVis) Symposia. He has served on numerous journal editorial boards including ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction and IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, and he presently is a member of the Steering Committee for the IEEE Information Visualization Conference and the ACM Symposium on Software Visualization.