Exploring Interpersonal Relationships in Historical Voting Records

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Historical records from democratic processes and negotiation of constitutional texts are a complex type of data to navigate due to the many different elements that are constantly interacting with one another: people, timelines, different proposed documents, changes to such documents, and voting to approve or reject those changes. In particular, voting records can offer various insights about relationships between people of note in that historical context, such as alliances that can form and dissolve over time and people with unusual behavior. In this paper, we present a toolset developed to aid users in exploring relationships in voting records from a particular domain of constitutional conventions. The toolset consists of two elements: a dataset visualizer, which shows the entire timeline of a convention and allows users to investigate relationships at different moments in time via dimensionality reduction, and a person visualizer, which shows details of a given person’s activity in that convention to aid in understanding the behavior observed in the dataset visualizer. We discuss our design choices and how each tool in those elements works towards our goals, and how they were perceived in an evaluation conducted with domain experts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-221
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


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