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.


Legal Reasoning

Principal Investigator:
Randy Goebel

Problem we’re trying to solve

A great deal of human resources are used in order to prepare for (or render a verdict in) a legal proceeding. The tools we are developing for information extraction and visualization in the legal domain extract legal concepts from text, identify chains of legal reasoning and answer questions by using textual entailment. Developing automated tools for information extraction and knowledge discovery will reduce the amount of effort and time needed for legal matters.

How will this help someone / an industry?

This project seeks to develop techniques for legal case reasoning, legal summarization and legal question answering in order to allow law practitioners to redirect their attention to tasks that require creativity or more complex reasoning.


National Institute for Informatics (Japan)

Type of MI used

Natural Language Processing, Information Extraction.