We introduce a technique for analyzing the temporal evolution of the salience of par- ticipants in a discussion. Our method can dynamically track how the relative impor- tance of speakers evolve over time using graph based techniques. Speaker salience is computed based on the eigenvector cen- trality in a graph representation of partici- pants in a discussion. Two participants in a discussion are linked with an edge if they use similar rhetoric. The method is dy- namic in the sense that the graph evolves over time to capture the evolution inher- ent to the participants salience. We used our method to track the salience of mem- bers of the US Senate using data from the US Congressional Record. Our analysis investigated how the salience of speakers changes over time. Our results show that the scores can capture speaker centrality in topics as well as events that result in change of salience or influence among dif- ferent participants.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kevin_quinn/35/