Generating Narratives from Personal Digital Data: Using Sentiment, Themes, and Named Entities to Construct Stories

  • Elaine Farrow
  • Thomas Dickinson
  • Matthew P. Aylett
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9299)


As the quantity and variety of personal digital data shared on social media continues to grow, how can users make sense of it? There is growing interest among HCI researchers in using narrative techniques to support interpretation and understanding. This work describes our prototype application, ReelOut, which uses narrative techniques to allow users to understand their data as more than just a database. The online service extracts data from multiple social media sources and augments it with semantic information such as sentiment, themes, and named entities. The interactive editor automatically constructs a story by using unit selection to fit data units to a simple narrative structure. It allows the user to change the story interactively by rejecting certain units or selecting a new narrative target. Finally, images from the story can be exported as a video clip or a collage.


Social media Narrative Triptych Multi-media 



This work was supported by EPSRC grant EP/L004062/1.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elaine Farrow
    • 1
  • Thomas Dickinson
    • 2
  • Matthew P. Aylett
    • 1
  1. 1.School of InformaticsUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Knowledge Media InstituteThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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