The synonymic search project is aimed at humanities researchers trying to ask more intelligent questions of document corpora. Our stakeholders identified to us that as document collections get larger, there is an inverse relationship to their ability to find what they are looking for. In the past, this has been addressed with novel methods of query generation, but we wanted to offer a different method for building intelligent queries. The synonymic search uses a navigable visual thesaurus to allow for query extensions. Users can upload documents, which we model and then direct to similar matches within the corpus. Users can also input keywords and then navigate a hierarchy of English and French synonyms that are categorically related. The overall goal of this project was to allow for dynamic query generation especially when the user is not completely certain of what they are searching for. Using this search interface humanities researchers can augment their processes to find results that are relevant to their evolving questions in large document corpora.
The project can be found at: https://synonym.vialab.ca/