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VARTTA: A Visual Analytics System for Making Sense of Real-Time Twitter Data

Insight Lab, Middlesex College, Western University, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
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Received: 28 December 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2020 / Accepted: 14 February 2020 / Published: 19 February 2020
Through social media platforms, massive amounts of data are being produced. As a microblogging social media platform, Twitter enables its users to post short updates as “tweets” on an unprecedented scale. Once analyzed using machine learning (ML) techniques and in aggregate, Twitter data can be an invaluable resource for gaining insight into different domains of discussion and public opinion. However, when applied to real-time data streams, due to covariate shifts in the data (i.e., changes in the distributions of the inputs of ML algorithms), existing ML approaches result in different types of biases and provide uncertain outputs. In this paper, we describe VARTTA (Visual Analytics for Real-Time Twitter datA), a visual analytics system that combines data visualizations, human-data interaction, and ML algorithms to help users monitor, analyze, and make sense of the streams of tweets in a real-time manner. As a case study, we demonstrate the use of VARTTA in political discussions. VARTTA not only provides users with powerful analytical tools, but also enables them to diagnose and to heuristically suggest fixes for the errors in the outcome, resulting in a more detailed understanding of the tweets. Finally, we outline several issues to be considered while designing other similar visual analytics systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: visual analytics; stream processing; dataset shift; real-time analytics; twitter data; human-data interaction; data visualization visual analytics; stream processing; dataset shift; real-time analytics; twitter data; human-data interaction; data visualization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Haghighati, A.; Sedig, K. VARTTA: A Visual Analytics System for Making Sense of Real-Time Twitter Data. Data 2020, 5, 20.

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