Michael DeBuse Defends MS Thesis

April 21, 2021

Michael DeBuse became an MS graduate when he successfuly defended his MS Thesis, entitled “Plot Extraction and the Visualization of Narrative Flow” on April 21, 2021. He passed, and his thesis served as his PhD qualifier. Michael is now pursuing a PhD in CS. The title and abstract for his thesis is provided below:

“This work discusses the development of an automated plot extraction system for narrative texts. Acknowledging the distinction between plot, as an object of study with its own rich history and literature, and features of a text that may be automatically extractable, we begin by characterizing a text’s Scatter-plot of Entities. This visualization of a text reveals entity density patterns characterizing the particular telling of the story under investigation and leads to effective scene partitioning. We then introduce the concept of Narrative Flow, a graph of how entities move through scenes from the text, and investigate the degree to which narrative flow can be automatically extracted given a glossary of plot-important objects, actors, and locations. Our subsequent analysis then explores the correlation between subjective notions of plot and the information extracted through these visualizations. In particular, we discuss narrative structures commonly found within the graphs and make comparisons with ground-truth narrative flow graphs, showing mixed results highlighting the difficulty of plot extraction. However, the visual artifacts and common structural relationships seen in the graphs provide insight into narrative and its underlying plot.”