You are here


Coherent Organization of a Navigable Problem-Solution-Learning Space (Part #4)

[Parts: First | Prev | All ] [Links: From-K | From-Kx ]

Space as perceived by its participants: A number of points discussed above also relate to this issue.

A particular research challenge is associated with taking a complex network of relationship information and displaying it on the spherical surface such as to minimize the number of line crossings. The mapping algorithm should massage the network information to confine links that can be considered proximate to local areas on the sphere and, wherever appropriate, to position those link pathways that are not simply local around the spherical surface (as 'great circle' pathways).

Since relational data is constantly emerging and changing in response to exchanges between inhabitants and their perception of the space, it is of special interest to offer facilities to reconfigure such mappings in the light of one or more geodesic structures. Such structures thus serve as potential (optimal or ideal) templates for any mapping, which may however only approximate to any one geodesic pattern. In this case it is the geodesic pattern which offers the possibility of rendering the mapping memorable and therefore globally significant.

Also of interest is to offer the possibility of projecting any such mapping onto other user-selected surfaces, such as animals or landscapes -- again with the objective of rendering the global structure meaningful.

Note that whatever approach is taken, the desire is to offer the user the facility of selecting a template on the basis of which the structure of the space should be configured. Similarly, although some entities such as organizations or problems could be sized in the space according to a limited selection of quantitative criteria, these may not correspond to a particular user's preferred perception of them. A local community association might then figure larger than the European Commission for people in that community.

Personal presence of participants: Following from the preceding paragraph, there is an interesting challenge in finding ways to allow individuals to inhabit the space with collectivities with which very large numbers of individuals may be associated. To improve correspondence with the real world, it is possible that communication ability with larger structures could, in some situations, be related to the number of individuals despatching that communication. Such ability could, for example, be related to the physics of that space.

Processes taking place within the space: These include learning, information exchange, advocacy, coalition formation, identification of communication pathways, accessing higher patterns of order.

Information accessible within the space: This would include: descriptive text, comment, dialogue, images and sound, mappings and structural perspectives.

Exploration and navigation

The development of these techniques is closely associated with the research challenges identified above under Structure and Presentation.

The information associated with the context has been built up with a variety of techniques that respond crudely to some of the issues. These techniques include multilingual subject access to entities which is important in a European environment. Chains of relationship pathways can be explored. Vicious cycles of problems can be identified. The limitations of these techniques, even for a skilled user, stress the need for radically different paradigms, as proposed above, where the emphasis is on global and contextual tools to guarantee adequate trans-disciplinary and trans-sectoral travel -- especially in the event of logical, ideological or cultural discontinuity.

Of special interest is the exploration of tools that help the inhabitant of the space to move through levels of complexity, where the possibility of further movement is determined by ability to understand more complex patterns. It is comprehension of the pattern that gives coherence to the user's movement through the space.

Interaction techniques


Accessibility and participation


Mixed realities

Whilst offering opportunities that may not be transferrable from the virtual reality, the space is proposed as a means of augmenting the capacity of individuals and collectivities to interact in the real world. This may result from:

transactions that take place through the space,

less probable coalitions that form and are given stability through the properties of the space

development of more sophisticated cognitive mappings within the space

[Parts: First | Prev | All ] [Links: From-K | From-Kx ]