Principal Investigators
Randy Goebel, Osmar Zaïane

Social Network Analysis & Visualization

Meerkat is an automated Social Network Analysis (SNA) tool used to analyze, visualize and interpret large or complex networks of information, allowing users to examine patterns and investigate relational dynamics.

The application uses information about the interactions between a set of objects (or nodes) within a network and lets the user employ different algorithms to automatically identify meaningful connections or highlight the most influential or central nodes in different ways.

Network analysis features include:

  • Automated community detection and analysis
  • Interactive visualization using general, community and metric-based layouts
  • Filtration and extraction of useful data
  • Dynamic analysis of network changes over time

Meerkat also provides tools for text mining, including polarity and emotion analysis, which give users the ability to examine text for positive and negative sentiments and a range of basic emotions. Meerkat ED, a version of the program that has been tailored specifically for educational environments, allows instructors to evaluate student activities in online discussion forums.


Ana – Automated Nursing Agent

Principal Investigator:
Osmar Zaïane

Problem we’re trying to solve

Ana, a conversational software agent (ie chatbot), is designed to converse with the elderly living at home to answer general questions and remind them of specific events. Ana is able to extract from conversations named entities (ie places, people, prescriptions, recipe names, etc.) as well as relationships (ie family tied, professions, activities, temporal events, etc.) Ana extracts information from text obtained from a speech-to-text converter; from this, it builds a personalized knowledge base that allows it to answer personal questions. Ana can also answer impersonal questions from sources on the Internet.

How will this help someone / an industry?

In addition to developing a speech interface for human-machine interaction, Ana seeks to improve elderly home care by providing a personal assistant and a digital companion. Ana helps with social needs (through questions and answers) and assists with simple home healthcare needs (ie. prescription reminders).

Type of MI used

Information Extraction, Natural Language Processing.