Visual analysis of the opinion flow among multiple social groups

  • Chi Ma
  • Yi ZhangEmail author
  • Nicolas-Emmanuel Robert
  • Yuze Li
Regular Paper


Journalists, government agency and the public may hold different opinions about the same event; these opinions flow within and across multiple social groups. Understanding opinion flow in multiple social groups is conducive to have a quick grasp of the information on social media. Our study aims to explore the opinion flow within or across the pre-defined social groups and the mutual influence of these groups’ views about the same event. First of all, to depict the opinion flow, we propose a topic transition model, and for expressing the interaction of groups’ opinion, we propose a quantitative approach. Secondly, according to 4Ws, we design a visual analytic system to let users analyze public opinion events through our system. The visual interface is tightly coupled with the analytical methods to present a concise summary of the opinion flow of events. A novel forwarding-network slicing diagram is designed to depict the forwarding process. To describe the result of the topic transition model, we also propose a topic transition graph to characterize the opinion flow. And a novel glyph is designed to visualize the characteristic of the influence. Our system provides a variety of interactions to assist users in exploring data, and we demonstrate the functionality of the system through two case studies.

Graphic Abstract


Social media analysis Opinion flow Influence estimation 



We greatly appreciate the feedback from anonymous reviews. This work was supported by National NSF of China (No. 61702359).


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Copyright information

© The Visualization Society of Japan 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chi Ma
    • 1
  • Yi Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicolas-Emmanuel Robert
    • 1
  • Yuze Li
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Intelligence and ComputingTianjin UniversityTianjinChina

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