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Proposal for Dropping Knowledge Event (Berlin, 9 September 2006) by Anthony Judge and Nadia McLaren. Also published in modified form in Statistics, Visualizations and Patterns (Vol 5 of the Yearbook of International Organizations, K G Saur Verlag, 6th edition, 2006/2007, as section 10.1.3)
The following proposal is framed as complementary to the processes of the event in which 112 people (the "free voices"), seated in a circle, will respond individually to 100 questions. As currently envisaged by dropping knowledge, individuals will be simultaneously filmed (individually) and their comments will be (individually) recorded for dissemination, storage and subsequent transcription - potentially using webcasting and other techniques. The event as a whole will also be filmed. The results will also be reproduced and edited in a variety of ways for subsequent distribution
The following proposal seeks to make use of the output audio feed from each 'free voice' - their answer to the questions -- and to structure the concepts therein on-the-fly into a variety of knowledge maps of different styles. The maps would be made available, as they develop, to those at the event in Berlin (whether individually or collectively) and elsewhere.
Although not the focus of this proposal, it is recommended that consideration be given to:
1. Concept analysis: Output audio feed of each 'free voice' is fed to a 'concept analyzer', namely:
2. Mind / Concept mapping: The analyzed text is sent as a formatted text feed to mind-map / concept map makers (note the distinction between these techniques):
NB: Mind mapping packages that can import a formatted feed and self-organize visually (with limited need for manual tweaking) would have an advantage - notably in terms of cost, time and expertise required. In practice a distinction may be made between mind mapping (based on radial hierarchical and tree structure representation), concept mapping (knowledge mapping) that is not restricted to radial/hierarchical representation), and network visualization (which is the generic graph mapping technique underlying both). For commercial reasons, some less restrictive concept mapping packages are marketed as mind mapping packages.
3. Harmonizers: Depending on resources, a higher level of editing and integration could be allocated to specialists in terminology and language, possibly aided by text analysis / summarization packages (see below).
4. Global map of all voices: For those packages (such as Netmap) adapted to handling the large quantity of information envisaged, all the analyzed feeds could be merged (suitably distinguished by code) into a single feed:
Text phrases versus Concepts: Concern might be expressed as to whether what are isolated by the analyzers as concepts are in fact concepts or more to be understood as phrases that do not merit distinction as 'concepts'. Of particular concern is the consequence of merging the analyzed feeds from different analyzers (with different styles and preferences) to create a common global map. Another concern is whether related concepts can be appropriately associated. It is possible that the text could be automatically processed to provide an additional set of 'background' implicit relations based on use of common terms. Facilities could be offered to merge or separate concepts possibly to be understood as duplicates in this way.
|Example: Progressive Analysis and Visualization of Table of "Free Voices" using Netmap
to relate and cluster issues and/or people, highlighting subgroups
1. Logistics: The proposal is based on using an audio feed as effectively as possible -- are the logistics too complex? Here are some further considerations:
2. Comprehensibility preferences: It is clear that different people have different preferences for different modes of communication. This applies as much to voice vs image as to different styles of voice or different styles of image. Such preferences also apply to different styles of mind map.
3. Funding: The main cost is associated with the concept analysis - if it is not done as an exercise by communication students. This could be subsidized or associated with revenue generated by the maps, or by subsidies from the mind map package manufacturers. As an experiment in new approaches to concept capture and organization at meetings, it is possible that EU meeting support funding could be available (though time is short)
4. Languages: Assuming the 112 will not necessarily be responding in English, and the responses cannot necessarily be translated into all the languages desired, the construction of mind maps offers a form of common visual language through which patterns of relationship between concepts can be compared
Stephen Davies, Javier Velez-Morales and Roger King. Building the Memex Sixty Years Later: Trends and Directions in Personal Knowledge Bases. 2005
Resources on mind mapping packages, include:
Resources on concept mapping include:
Resources on network visualization include:
Use of text analysis / theme abstracting packages: To alleviate the task of the concept analyzers, consideration could be given to the use of packages such as:
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