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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Dumpster: Breaking Up as Art

The Dumpster is a very cool visualization of romantic breakups. A huge amount of data mining and analysis was necessary to create it. Here's a brief description of the project:
The Dumpster is an interactive online visualization that attempts to depict a slice through the romantic lives of American teenagers. Using real postings extracted from millions of online blogs, visitors to the project can surf through tens of thousands of specific romantic relationships in which one person has "dumped" another. The project's graphical tools reveal the astonishing similarities, unique differences, and underlying patterns of these failed relationships, providing both peculiarly analytic and sympathetically intimate perspectives onto the diversity of global romantic pain.
A machine learning classifier was trained to spot romantic breakups in blog postings and score them for inclusion. A yellow circle (the Currently Selected Breakup) will show up initially, and other breakup bubbles are colored based on how similar they are to it.

The Dumpster


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