Sentifiers: Interpreting Vague Intent Modifiers in Visual Analysis using Word Co-occurrence and Sentiment Analysis

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Natural language interaction with data visualization tools often involves the use of vague subjective modifiers in utterances such as “show me the sectors that are performing” and “where is a good neighborhood to buy a house?.” Interpreting these modifiers is often difficult for these tools because their meanings lack clear semantics and are in part defined by context and personal user preferences. This paper presents a system called Sentifiers that makes a first step in better understanding these vague predicates. The algorithm employs word co-occurrence and sentiment analysis to determine which data attributes and filters ranges to associate with the vague predicates. The provenance results from the algorithm are exposed to the user as interactive text that can be repaired and refined. We conduct a qualitative evaluation of the Sentifiers that indicates the usefulness of the interface as well as opportunities for better supporting subjective utterances in visual analysis tasks through natural language.

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Authors: 
Vidya Setlur
Arathi Kumar
Publication Date: 
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Publication Information: 
IEEE Vis - Oct 25-30, 2020 (to appear)