The Effect of Semantic Interaction on Foraging in Text Analysis

TitleThe Effect of Semantic Interaction on Foraging in Text Analysis
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsWenskovitch, J, Bradel, L, Dowling, M, House, L, North, C
Conference Name2018 IEEE Conference on Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST)

Completing text analysis tasks is a continuous sensemaking loop of foraging for information and incrementally synthesizing it into hypotheses. Past research has shown the advantages of using spatial workspaces as a means for synthesizing information through externalizing hypotheses and creating spatial schemas. However, spatializing the entirety of datasets becomes prohibitive as the number of documents available to the analysts grows, particularly when only a small subset are relevant to the task at hand. StarSPIRE is a visual analytics tool designed to explore collections of documents, leveraging users' semantic interactions to steer (1) a synthesis model that aids in document layout, and (2) a foraging model to automatically retrieve new relevant information. In contrast to traditional keyword search foraging (KSF), "semantic interaction foraging" (SIF) occurs as a result of the user's synthesis actions. To quantify the value of semantic interaction foraging, we use StarSPIRE to evaluate its utility for an intelligence analysis sensemaking task. Semantic interaction foraging accounted for 26% of useful documents found, and it also resulted in increased synthesis interactions and improved sensemaking task performance by users in comparison to only using keyword search.