AAAI Publications, Workshops at the Twenty-Fifth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Many Bills: Visualizing the Anatomy of Congressional Legislation
Elif Aktolga, Irene Ros, Yannick Assogba, Joan DiMicco

Last modified: 2011-08-24


US Federal Legislation is a common subject of discussion and advocacy on the web. The contents of bills present a significant challenge to both experts and average citizens due to their length and complex legal language. To make bills more accessible to the general public, we present Many Bills: a web-based visualization prototype that reveals the underlying semantics of a bill. We classify the sections of a bill into topics and visualize them using different colors. Further, using information retrieval techniques, we locate sections that don't seem to fit with the overall topic of the bill. To highlight outliers in our `misfit mode', we visualize them in red, which builds a contrast against the remaining gray sections. Both topic and misfit visualizations provide an overview and detail view of bills, enabling users to read individual sections of a bill and compare topic patterns across multiple bills. We obtained initial user feedback and continue collecting label corrections from users through the interface.

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