Discussion Tracking in Enron Email Using PARAFAC

  • Brett W. Bader
  • Michael W. Berry
  • Murray Browne

In this chapter, we apply a nonnegative tensor factorization algorithm to extract and detect meaningful discussions from electronic mail messages for a period of one year. For the publicly released Enron electronic mail collection, we encode a sparse term-author-month array for subsequent three-way factorization using the PARAllel FACtors (or PARAFAC) three-way decomposition first proposed by Harshman. Using nonnegative tensors, we preserve natural data nonnegativity and avoid subtractive basis vector and encoding interactions present in techniques such as principal component analysis. Results in thread detection and interpretation are discussed in the context of published Enron business practices and activities, and benchmarks addressing the computational complexity of our approach are provided. The resulting tensor factorizations can be used to produce Gantt-like charts that can be used to assess the duration, order, and dependencies of focused discussions against the progression of time.


Nonnegative Matrix Factorization Alternate Little Square Tensor Decomposition Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Anchor Text 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brett W. Bader
    • 1
  • Michael W. Berry
    • 2
  • Murray Browne
    • 2
  1. 1.Applied Computational Methods DepartmentSandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerque
  2. 2.Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceUniversity of TennesseeKnoxville

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