Patterns in the daily diary of the 41st president, George Bush



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Texas A&M University


This thesis explores interfaces for locating and comprehending patterns among time-based materials in digital libraries. Time-based digital library materials are like other digital library materials in that they are comprised of data and metadata. In addition, they have a time or period of time attached to each data item. The specific focus of this thesis is on fine-granularity items-items that have relatively little data and cover brief periods of time. In such a context, people often are left to discern patterns of activity by retrospectively making sense of the collection or parts thereof. The specific domain chosen for the implementation is the daily diary of President George Bush, the 41st president of the USA. This project developed a searching and browsing interface, which allows people to study the relationship between activities and people in the library data. As part of this thesis, a corpus of the Presidential daily diary was digitized. Two interfaces were provided to this corpus, one based on a standard information retrieval engine (Greenstone) and another presenting time-based visualizations of data items. An evaluation was conducted to explore the relative strengths and weaknesses of these two interfaces.