Phase One: One Semester Independent Research Study


A software laboratory that provides facilities for exploring and extending a cognitive domain, for generating new ideas relative to that domain, and for modifying the domain to reflect the impact of the new ideas, enables users to discover relationships among concepts that they would not have otherwise discovered using currently available tools such as search engines (Google, Altavista, etc) and citationbases (Citeseer).

Semester goal:

Create a 2D model that allows users to explore the evolution of concepts reflected in projects, people, concepts, and insitutions reported in the papers from the first four ACM Hypertext conferences (1987, 1989 1990, 1991), using data captured in a citation database and global index covering those papers.

Sample user tasks:

(1) Explore how the concept of linking changed during the period covered by the data, including how it affected the kinds of research questions being asked. How did these changes impact what projects, people, and institutions were involved? What was lost in the process and what was gained?

(2) How did the context affect the directions reseach into the syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of linking?

(3) Did Jeff Conklin's survey actually have any impact on the direction of hypertext research? If so, where did it have its greatest impact? Why? What is still relevant and why? What about Halasz' Seven Issues paper?

(4) What lines of research that died in the late 80's and early 90's (period covered by the data) might be useful to pursue today in the light of current hypertext research?

Implementation issues:

(0) Finishing the citationbase and global index for those years

(1) How to model the data

(2) What kinds of interactions should there be

(3) How to display the initial data

(4) Can users modify the data? If so, should those modifications be reflected in the permanent data model, and if so, how?


Complete in time to submit paper or poster to Hypertext 2001.


An initial user study that initially collects journal data on user experiences with the system, and later follows up with a questionaire asking about how this experience related to prior research tasks in which more traditional tools of web and library and citationbase search was used.

Later studies might have specific tasks, though I'm not clear what they would be since I'm not aiming for speed of retrieval. This is a creativity support tool and how do you test that????


Related Areas





       Assimilation and accomodation


       Emergent behavior

       Emergent patterns

       Emergent structures

       User-directed tools

Knowledge representation

       Category theory


       Programming language design


              Structural computing


       Digital Libraries


       Design Patterns

       Spatial hypertext

       Data mining

       Information Retrieval

User interface

       Focus + context

Related Work

* indicates my work

* Beyond the Plane: Spatial Hypertext in a Virtual Reality World (Brown University, '98)
    kinesthetic feedback




* Gateway (LMI - 84-86, with John Mann, demoed at IJCAI '85)
    tiled, tightly coupled windows - change in one window affects the others
    documentation system
       links as first-class functional objects
       links as relationships not just pointers

* HTSC - Reusable Hypertext Structures (ACM HT 2000, with Anne Morgan Spalter)

* Indexing as a hypertext navigation tool (ACM HT '89)


* Memex and Beyond (Brown University, '96)
    structure as meaning

* "The Lab and the Web: Transforming the Sophomore Experience", (ASEE '96, with WIlliam M. Waite)
    modified fisheye views of domain


* Rich Indexing Pattern Language (ChiliPLoP '99)


  Spatial Hypertext

  Structural Computing


Ultimate goal

Beyond the Plane: Spatial Hypertext in a Virtual Reality World