University of Konstanz
Graduiertenkolleg / PhD Program
Computer and Information Science

Colloquium of the Department and the PhD Program


Bridging the Linguistic Visualization Divide


Christopher Collins, University of Ontario
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

date & place

Wednesday, 11.05.2011, 16:15 h
Room C 252


While linguistic skill is a hallmark of humanity, the increasing volume of linguistic data each of us faces is causing individual and societal problems - 'information overload' is a commonly discussed condition. Tasks such as finding the most appropriate information online, understanding the contents of a personal email repository, and translating documents from another language are now commonplace. These tasks need not cause stress and feelings of overload: the human intellectual capacity is not the problem. Rather, the technological supports are inappropriate. Linguistic information overload is not a new phenomenon: throughout history, the pace of information creation has exceeded the pace of development of management strategies.
My research aims to bring new interfaces to the forefront of information management in order to keep up with the current challenges of data scale and the growing power of linguistic computing algorithms. In this talk I will present the results of several design studies spanning document summarization, translation, and lexical analysis. Each project aims to bridge what I see as the 'linguistic visualization divide' - a practical disconnect between the sophistication of natural language processing and the power of interactive visualization. Additionally, I will present some general challenges for the future of text and language visualization, and invite discussion on the topic.