Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Ying Zhu

Second Advisor

Rajshekhar Sunderraman

Third Advisor

G. Scott Owen

Fourth Advisor

Gengsheng Qin


People have complex thoughts, and they often express their thoughts with complex sentences using natural languages. This complexity may facilitate efficient communications among the audience with the same knowledge base. But on the other hand, for a different or new audience this composition becomes cumbersome to understand and analyze. Analysis of such compositions using syntactic or semantic measures is a challenging job and defines the base step for natural language processing.

In this dissertation I explore and propose a number of new techniques to analyze and visualize the syntactic and semantic patterns of unstructured English texts.

The syntactic analysis is done through a proposed visualization technique which categorizes and compares different English compositions based on their different reading complexity metrics. For the semantic analysis I use Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) to analyze the hidden patterns in complex compositions. I have used this technique to analyze comments from a social visualization web site for detecting the irrelevant ones (e.g., spam). The patterns of collaborations are also studied through statistical analysis.

Word sense disambiguation is used to figure out the correct sense of a word in a sentence or composition. Using textual similarity measure, based on the different word similarity measures and word sense disambiguation on collaborative text snippets from social collaborative environment, reveals a direction to untie the knots of complex hidden patterns of collaboration.