APRIL 18-21, 2017
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Exploring Controversy via Sentiment Divergences of Aspects in Reviews
A visual summary of the controversial aspects of an item enables both customers and marketers to identify and address complaints and concerns about the item effectively. In this paper, we propose a novel visual analytics system, to visually explore when a controversy occurs and the causes behind the controversy via user-generated reviews with text and ratings in various domains, such as restaurants, home goods, and cultural products. Quantitative analysis of the ratings of an item is first applied to characterize the evolution of controversy over time. A novel aspect-extraction method based on hierarchical clustering is proposed to identify aspect-level reasons garnered from review texts that explain why a controversy occurs. Our system allows the user to interactively explore the time-evolving controversy trend, major aspects of reviews, and sentiment divergences of aspects to understand in depth the controversy in reviews. We evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed aspect-extraction method by means of accuracy of aspect identification, the usefulness of our system using three case studies in different domains, and a user study.