Frank van Ham and
Phrase Nets use a simple form of
pattern matching to provide multiple views of the concepts contained a book,
speech, or poem. The image below is a word graph made from Jane Austen's
novel "Pride and Prejudice." The program has drawn a network of words, where
two words are connected if they appear together in a phrase of the form "X
For instance, "Jane" and "Elizabeth" are connected by a thicker arrow since
the phrase "Jane and Elizabeth" occurs 10 times in the novel. The result of
this simple pattern matching scheme is a surprisingly coherent view of some
of the concepts in the books. A large cluster of the main characters and
their relationships is on the left; separate clusters touch on emotion and
attitude. Smaller connected pairs ("fortune" and "consequence") touch on
Pointing another phrase
filter to the same text yields a rather different view of Pride and
Prejudice. Here's a phrasenet of "X at Y," which reveals some of the most
important locations in the book.
Looking at different texts through the same
phrase can also be quite illuminating. Below are two diagrams showing "X of
Y" in the Old and New Testaments respectively.
For more on how the visualization works,
please refer to this
explanation page on Many Eyes.