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A phrase net diagrams the relationships between different words used in a text.
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Frank van Ham

Related academic paper
Mapping Text with Phrase Nets
Frank van Ham, Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda B. Viégas

Phrase Nets use a simple form of pattern matching to provide multiple views of the concepts contained a book, speech, or poem. The image below is a word graph made from Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice." The program has drawn a network of words, where two words are connected if they appear together in a phrase of the form "X and Y":

For instance, "Jane" and "Elizabeth" are connected by a thicker arrow since the phrase "Jane and Elizabeth" occurs 10 times in the novel. The result of this simple pattern matching scheme is a surprisingly coherent view of some of the concepts in the books. A large cluster of the main characters and their relationships is on the left; separate clusters touch on emotion and attitude. Smaller connected pairs ("fortune" and "consequence") touch on other themes.


More idiosyncratic patterns can also yield unexpected results. Below is a Phrase Net of "X begat Y" in the King James Bible.


For more on how the visualization works, please refer to this explanation page on Many Eyes.