The Time Helix is a revolutionary way to visualise emotions as a sequence over time. It is essentially a three-dimensional version of the Emotion Profile as shown in Bann and Bryson (2012). Using the emotion spectrum and time as the axis', a spiral plot, or helix, is generated, providing a unique insight into the emotional nature of time, relative to the data being used.

Typically, emotions are represented as single points within some space. We can illustrate the nature of emotions by using an Emotion Profile: a plot modelling each emotion’s semantic ratio (derived from Emotion Clustering) using a radar diagram. Circumplex properties are defined by the areas of the profile in specific segments of the diagram; each octant, quadrant and half has a specific property. Our method layers several models, including Watson's, Russell's and Plutchik's, aggregates, and mashes up against time.

The key to interpreting emotion profiles, apart from the similarity of profile shape, is identifying anomalous spikes. Plotting emotion waves, or Time Helices, provides us with a graphic visualisation of emotion, so we can easily identify key differences in the composition of emotions with respect to time. Instead of a typical temporal emotion graph that shows the peak and troughs of emotion within a single dimension, using a time-lapse of emotion profiles enables us to visualise how the spikes of emotion profiles morph over time, identifying volatility and trends in the properties of each dimension and area covered by the profile. One of our most exciting projects is plotting global emotion responses to large-scale events to see if there is more to time than just duration.