Visualizing authorship for identification

Ahmed Abbasi, Hsinchun Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

39 Scopus citations


As a result of growing misuse of online anonymity, researchers have begun to create visualization tools to facilitate greater user accountability in online communities. In this study we created an authorship visualization called Writeprints that can help identify individuals based on their writing style. The visualization creates unique writing style patterns that can be automatically identified in a manner similar to fingerprint biometric systems. Writeprints is a principal component analysis based technique that uses a dynamic feature-based sliding window algorithm, making it well suited at visualizing authorship across larger groups of messages. We evaluated the effectiveness of the visualization across messages from three English and Arabic forums in comparison with Support Vector Machines (SVM) and found that Writeprints provided excellent classification performance, significantly outperforming SVM in many instances. Based on our results, we believe the visualization can assist law enforcement in identifying cyber criminals and also help users authenticate fellow online members in order to deter cyber deception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntelligence and Security Informatics - IEEE International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics, ISI 2006, Proceedings
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)3540344780, 9783540344780
StatePublished - 2006
EventIEEE International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics, ISI 2006 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: May 23 2006May 24 2006

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume3975 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


OtherIEEE International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics, ISI 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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