Authors: Jian Zhao, Liang Gou, Fei Wang, Michelle Zhou
Abstract: Hundreds of millions of people leave digital footprints on social media (e.g., Twitter and Facebook). Such data not only disclose a person's demographics and opinions, but also reveal one's emotional style. Emotional style captures a person's patterns of emotions over time, including his overall emotional volatility and resilience. Understanding one's emotional style can provide great benefits for both individuals and businesses alike, including the support of self-reflection and delivery of individualized customer care. We present PEARL, a timeline-based visual analytic tool that allows users to interactively discover and examine a person's emotional style derived from this person's social media text. Compared to other visual text analytic systems, our work offers three unique contributions. First, it supports multi-dimensional emotion analysis from social media text to automatically detect a person's expressed emotions at different time points and summarize those emotions to reveal the person's emotional style. Second, it effectively visualizes complex, multi-dimensional emotion analysis results to create a visual emotional profile of an individual, which helps users browse and interpret one's emotional style. Third, it supports rich visual interactions that allow users to interactively explore and validate emotion analysis results. We have evaluated our work extensively through a series of studies. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of our tool both in emotion analysis from social media and in support of interactive visualization of the emotion analysis results.