Authors: Wenwen Dou, Isaac Cho, Omar ElTayeby, Jaegul Choo, Xiaoyu Wang, Bill Ribarsky
Abstract: The wide-spread use of social media provides unprecedented sources of written language that can be used to model and infer online demographics. In this paper, we introduce a novel visual text analytics system, DemographicVis, to aid interactive analysis of such demographic information based on user-generated contents. Our approach connects categorical data (demographic information) with textual data, allowing users to understand the characteristics of different demographic groups in a transparent and explorative manner. The modeling and visualization are based on ground truth demographic information collected via a survey conducted on Reddit.com. Detailed user information is taken into our modeling process that connects the demographic groups with features that best describe the distinguishing characteristics of each group. Features including topical and linguistic are generated from the user-generated contents. Such features are then analyzed and ranked based on their ability to predict the users' demographic information. To enable interactive demographic analysis, we introduce a web-based visual interface to present the relationship of the demographic groups, their topic interests, as well as the predictive power of various features. We present multiple case studies to showcase the utility of our visual analytics approach in exploring and understanding the interests of different demographic groups. We also report results from a comparative evaluation, showing that the DemographicVis is quantitatively superior or competitive and subjectively preferred when compared to a commercial text analysis tool.