This is a recording of my talk at the NICAR (National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting) conference in February 2011, where I discussed some of our recent work at the AP with the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs.
References cited in the talk:
- “A full-text visualization of the Iraq war logs”, a detailed writeup of the technique used to generate the first set of maps presented in the talk.
- The Glimmer high-performance, parallel multi-dimensional scaling algorithm, which is the software I presented in the live demo portion. It will be the basis of our clustering work going forward. (We are also working on other large-scale visualizations which may be more appropriate for e.g. email dumps.)
- “Quantitative Discovery from Qualitative Information: A General-Purpose Document Clustering Methodology.” Justin Grimmer, Gary King, 2009. A paper that everyone working in document clustering needs to read. It clearly makes the point that there is no “best” clustering, just different algorithms that correspond to different pre-conceived frames on the story — and gives a method to compare clusterings (though I don’t think it will scale well to millions of docs.)
- Wikipedia pages for bag of words model, tf-idf, and cosine similarity, the basic text processing techniques we’re using.
- Gephi, a free graph visualization system, which we used for the one-month Iraq map. It will work up to a few tens of thousands of nodes.