Competition Submissions

VISUAL INDEX

Competition Webpage | Maps 1 - 10 | Maps 11 - 20

See pictures from the Award Ceremony at the NetSci Conference on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007.

You may download ALL submissions in one file (1GB / .ZIP ), rather than downloading each one individually.

Winners

#1 - Flight Patterns Movie by Aaron Koblin
#2 - Diversity and Complexity of Ecosystems: Exploring Balance and Imbalance in Nature by Neo Martinez and Ilmi Yoon
#3 - Evolution of the Artiodactyla in Space and Time by David Kidd
Honorable Mention - An Emergent Mosaic of Wikipedian Activity by Bruce Herr and Todd Holloway.

On Display & On DVD

There will be an awards ceremony on Tuesday May 22nd during the NetSci conference (http://www.nd.edu/~netsci/conference.html). All image submissions will be printed in large format. Video submissions will be projected on two large screens. Food and drinks including a glass of Champagne will be provided. Note that if you attend the ceremony exclusively then you do not need to pay the NetSci registration fee. A DVD with all submissions will be included in the NetSci Conference package. If you cannot attend NetSci or the awards ceremony but would like to receive a DVD please send us your postal address and we can ship a copy to you (email efhardy@indiana.edu). If you still need to register for NetSci, please do so before May 20th here: http://nd.edu/~netsci/

Press Coverage

An Emergent Mosaic of Wikipedian Activity by Bruce Herr and Todd Holloway, The New Scientist, May 17th, 2007.

Presentations

Jennifer Dunne, Co-Director of Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Lab, will present Diversity and Complexity of Ecosystems: Exploring Balance and Imbalance in Nature, by Neo Martinez and Ilmi Yoon

Bruce Herr, An Emergent Mosaic of Wikipedian Activity


(1) Internet Map of the World as seen from AS8843 (Switzerland)


High Res Image ( 2.8MB / PDF )
Philippe Bourcier philippe@sysctl.org
SYSCTL Lab / Netlantis
Paris, France

Description: This map of the world represents the BGP AS paths from AS8843 (Saitis Networks Switzeland) to the rest of the Internet as seen the 7th of March 2002. BGP AS paths are found in an Internet operator's routing table which is a kind of database that tells how to reach all the other networks available on the Internet.
The map is generated by associating geographical coordinates to the different entities (called AS numbers) found in each AS path of AS8843's routing table. The colours and the link's width represent the number of times a path between two different AS numbers is used, which is also the importance of that path for the ISP running AS8843 (at that moment).

Scientific Value:
Limited geo-political analysis of IP space redistribution could be done from the map, especially in the Southern hemisphere. ISP's would be interested by having this map dynamically updated every minute or so, so they can detect major outages not depending directly on their networks.

Educational Value:
This map can be used to help understand BGP routing tables and Internet topology, for example "How does an ISP contact other ISPs around the world?"

References to Publications:
N/A
Related Projects:
http://sysctl.org/
http://www.netlantis.org/
http://asgeo.netlantis.org/

(2) Issue Crawler Back-end Movie


Quicktime Movie ( 39 MB / .M4V )
Streaming versions also available: http://movies.issuecrawler.net/
Richard Rogers
rogers@uva.nl
University of Amsterdam
New Media
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Judges Quotes:

"I can see the quick, wide spread adoption of the 'Issue Crawler' by NGOs thriving to maximize their efforts, students studying social sciences or documentary film makers, who want to make sure they cover their subjects with the most relevant events, players. It's a promising tool that sharpens the focus."
Annamaria Talas (Science Producer)
Avalon, Australia

Description: The Issue Crawler is Web network location and visualization software, consisting of a crawler, a co-link analysis machine and visualization modules. The user enters seed URLs, the Issue Crawler crawls the URLs, harvests the outlinks and performs co-link analysis in one, two or three iterations of method. The user may visualize the results as cluster or circle graphs, or as a geographical map. The Issue Crawler works on the server-side, operated through a browser.

The Issue Crawler Back-End Movie is a demonstration of how the Issue Crawler works. The movie is also a narrative of a research project conducted with the Issue Crawler and allied tools. The movie focuses on the implications of global civil society's 'issue drift.' As global civil society and intergovernmental organizations move from issue to issue, from place to place and from forum to forum, the question is, do they remember what is happening on the ground?

The movie goes like this:

When you meet someone for the first time, they may ask you: Where are you from? Some people have a hard time answering that question. For example, someone may say, "I'm from all over the place." To avoid awkwardness, some people now ask a new question. "Where are you based?"

Issues have a similar awkwardness. The place where an issue is from may not be the place where the issue is now based. The issue may have drifted elsewhere -- to another global forum, for example.

Showing methods and mapping results, the Issue Crawler movie addresses the places of issues - where they are from, and where they are based. The most important question is whether the new base remembers where the issue is from.

Scientific Value: The Issue Crawler Back-end Movie provides an introduction to issue network location on the Web, including co-link analysis, and also to a technique to map the registered locations of issue network actors onto a geographical map (with the use of the Issue Geographer, now built into the Issue Crawler). The Issue Geographer looks up located URLs on whois.net (via an aggregation service), parses addresses of where sites are registered, queries a database for latitude and longitude, and plots each to map, with URL and location labels.

Educational Value:
The Issue Crawler Back-end movie provides instruction in the use of the Issue Crawler as well as allied tools, such as the Issue Geographer as well as a Google scraper, where the user batch queries sets of issue network sites for substance (in a form of "content analysis"). The movie is shown in university classrooms as well as during research workshops, e.g., in the expert and/or PhD student workshops, in the style of the "Social Life of Issues" series, http://www.govcom.org/workshops.html, held most recently at the University of Padova and the University of Trento.

References to Publications:

Related Projects: N/A

(3) Evolution of the Artiodactyla in Space and Time


High Res Image ( 5.7MB / TIFF )
David Kidd
dk@nescent.org
Samantha Price
sprice@nescent.org
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)
Durham, North Carolina

Judges Quotes:

"To visualize the flow of evolution over time and space is a daunting challenge, this works because different perspectives can be compared to each other to build an understanding of the ideas; the alternate views support and re-enforce each other. The layout and color scheme is concise and easy to follow, and this model would be applicable to other evolutionary trees."
Daniel Zeller (Visual Artist) , New York

"Novel idea on how to use geo and evolutionary information in order to provide a network that is very original and informational. It also makes it a general method and not just an ad-hoc visualization."
Alessandro Vespignani (Internet Research & Epidemics)
School of Informatics, Indiana University

" Elegant, lucid use of graphics."
Peter Christensen (Art Curator)
Museum of Modern Art, New York

"This is the most readable and revealing entry we received: I can imagine using this to do actual work even though it encourages the neophyte to browse and learn; excellent data density."
W. Bradford Paley (Designer)
Digital Image Design Inc

Description: Evolution is a spatiotemporal process conditioned by Earth history and the ability of organisms to adapt and diversify. Graphic presentations that integrate evolutionary models with geographical distributions have been central to the deconstruction and explanation of complex patterns of biodiversity (Hewitt 2001). New technologies however are generating ever more and larger evolutionary reconstructions as well as facilitating the integration of data from other disciplines. New visualization approaches are required to illustrate the emergent patterns when these complex interrelated data sets are combined. Evolution of the Artiodactyla in Space and Time shows the spatiotemporal dynamics of the evolutionary tree of the mammalian order Artiodactyla (even-toed hoofed mammals) since their origin in the Late Cretaceous in what is now Pakistan. The network presented is based on 174 living terrestrial species with well-known native ranges. A 3-dimensional ‘geophylogeny’ was created with the ‘GeoPhyloBuilder’ extension for ArcGIS (Kidd and Lui, accepted) from an evolutionary tree (Price et al 2005) and associated species range maps (Sechrest, 2003). In the geophylogeny branch tips represent living species and are positioned at the geographical centroid of the modern range. Internal nodes are then positioned at the geographical centroid of lower branches except for the origin of a number of subgroups, e.g. Suidae, that were positioned manually to correspond with the fossil record. We show the geophylogeny from a variety of different perspectives to facilitate visualization of spatially overlapping patterns of diversification in time, geography and ecology.

Scientific Value:
The combination of comprehensive spatial and temporal datasets allows us to visually explore and identify complex evolutionary patterns. We combined species’ geographic ranges (Sechrest, 2004) and evolutionary history (Price et al., 2005) with general ecological data (Olson et al., 2001) to elucidate the evolution of the even-toed hoofed mammals (Artiodactyla). To illustrate this we detail the evolution of the pig family (Suidae) in space, time and ecology. According to the fossil record pigs originated in South East Asia, early in the history of the group the peccary progenitor migrates to the Americas, later they diversify within the forested habitats of South America. Concomitant with the South American diversification the old-world pigs (Suinae) disperse to and radiate within African forests and undergo in situ diversification in their ancestral region mainly due to the evolution of island endemics. From this pattern we conclude that present-day pig lineages have remained forest specialists throughout their evolutionary history and have dispersed via land to Africa and South America. The South American dispersal was most likely across the Bering land bridge and down through North America, a hypothesis which is supported by the fossil record as the earliest identifiable peccaries appear in North American deposits.

Educational Value:
The educational value stems from combining complex spatial and temporal data and presenting it in an easy to read format. By plotting the tree (temporal) onto the globe with the tips showing the mid-point of the species range (spatial), along with a basic habitat variable (spatial), we enable the students to explore a variety of large-scale ecological and evolutionary patterns. The identification of these patterns then allows the students to posit possible explanations for the patterns involving both the physical (e.g. emergence of the Atlantic Ocean) and the biotic environment (e.g. ecological specialisation due to competitive exclusion).

References to Publications:

Related Projects: N/A

(4) Commetrix - Exploring Dynamic Network Evolution with Social Network Intelligence Software


Quicktime Movie ( 31.8MB / .MOV )

Matthias Trier
copyright holder
trier@sysedv.tu-berlin.de

Annette Bobrik
bobrik@sysedv.tu-berlin.de

Michael Herzog
herzog@sysedv.tu-berlin.de
Technical University Berlin
Computer Science/Systems Analysis
Berlin, Germany

Judges Quotes:

"Nice combination of data(web)-mining and visualization supported inspection of network data."
Vladimir Batagelj (Computer Science)
University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

"Commetrix is a fascinating tool that ensures optimisation of resources, information on a wide range of areas by putting real science into our messy everyday world. Its animated movies serve as shortcuts, the user can understand in a flash what is really happening."
Annamaria Talas (Science Producer)
Avalon, Australia

Description: Commetrix is an exploratory analysis tool for dynamic network data. Its connectors can conveniently read all sources of accessible network data, like co-authorship or business process networks. Still, the focus is on analyzing evolving patterns of electronic communication, including email, discussions, voice over IP, and instant messaging. Technically, we extend current SNA methods by blending social network analysis, dynamic graph visualization, gestalt theory, and text mining with combinable search and filter algorithms to achieve a social network intelligence tool. For optimal organic graph layout, we developed a dynamic spring embedder with nodebased dynamic temperature control for realtime-rendered 2D and 3D layouts. The resulting bird’s eye views enable clients from industry and research to easier cope with large heterogeneous networks. They can do exploratory social network analysis, identify communities, elicit core structures, observe evolving important actors, study the stability or fragility of the network at hand, or observe how two networks integrate (e.g. after a merger of discussion groups or organizations). With our added text mining features, users can search a large network for topics and their authors, filter out ego-networks, or watch animations of topics spreading through parts of customer communities. Such results can also simply be used to recommend or explore optimal contacts based on the topics of their communication. Conventional SNA measures are computed for the complete network and for selected parts. It can also be displayed in charts. In our research, we show artefacts of static SNA measures and develop metrics for patterns of network measures over time, i.e. topic trend indicators or network stability or the fragility of a central actor’s position. We explore new means of measuring actors’ importance in terms of their networking activity (e.g. brokering actions). With Commetrix, the detailed lifecycle of a communication network of thousands of simultaneously changing relationships becomes observable.

Scientific Value:
Next to offering conventional SNA functionality in an easy and exploratory approach, Commetrix extends current SNA research methods by offering exploratory ways to analyze network dynamics and the contents of a network. This gives the chance to understand dynamic transitions between states and the according lifecycle processes, e.g. of network formation or de-stabilization. The impact of external events or of integration of two initially separate networks can be studied. The artefacts of current static SNA are uncovered (e.g. wrong central actors). We can technically blend multiple communication sources. Commercial applications are manifold, due to the ability to connect to every data source. In a world of web2.0 technology, evolving virtual social architectures around websites, like customer communities can be observed, keyword analysis shows trends and loci of innovation, dynamic analysis shows the impact of external events, e.g. after marketing campaigns. Communities can be identified in product development. After mergers, the integrating structures can be observed or improved. Electronic collaboration can be analyzed to find clusters of well-connected co-workers for future projects. It can be measured, if large teams smoothly integrate, expert network maps can be created, used for recommendations or simply be searched to find contacts.

Educational Value:
Using measures and visualizations of dynamic network evolvement, we can better understand life cycles of network formation or de-stabilization. A visualization of a personal electronic network can serve as a means to increase social translucency of the online space by visualizing the virtual communication processes that happen around us. We can better cope with more personal contacts of different strength and from multiple domains. In the organizational domain, it can help to push the understanding of the role of social networks in a world of teams and business processes. I can find appropriate contacts for my requests. In the e-learning domain we could mine and learn how learners connect in discussions and in collaborative processes, like joint assignments. In life-sciences we could model protein interactions and other network-based processes. The exploratory approach of playfully configuring and analyzing your network data, while seeing the changes happen in the graph, allows supporting students of social sciences via exploratory studying complex network data.

References to Publications:

Related Projects:
http://www.commetrix.de
http://www.commetrix.de/IRIS
http://www.commetrix.de/Enron
http://www.commetrix.de/SocialSearch

(5) Polarization in Literary Criticism


Quicktime Movie ( 10.2MB / .MP4 )
Interactive version (Need Adobe SVG Viewer)
Wouter de Nooy
denooy@fhk.eur.nl
Erasmus University Rotterdam
History & Arts Studies
Rotterdam, Netherlands

Judges Quotes:

"Wonderful to see varied rendering of the nodes and links: beyond the easy-to-program, misguidedly-thought objective circles and straight lines we typically see; the solid/dotted line links and visual distinctions among node types make this easier to follow while animating and easier to interpret when static."
W. Bradford Paley (Designer)
Digital Image Design Inc

Description: According to theories in the sociology of the arts, judgments that literary critics pass on literary authors and books are affected by group processes among critics and authors and by their social background characteristics. Thus, professional evaluations of literature are not the purely individual actions they are supposed to be. The visualization presented here convincingly shows the group processes as they develop over time, highlighting social-psychological balance, which states that people tend to befriend their friends’ friends (blue or bluish arcs), social class distinctions, deference of lower classes (represented by gearwheels) to higher classes (books) or domination in the opposite direction (red or reddish arcs), and polarization among literary style groups (represented by vertex color) as they were proposed at that time (yellowish arcs). Mixed colors represent combinations of balance, class, and style effects. Vertex size indicates a person’s commercial success.The data consist of 465 evaluations among 40 Dutch literary authors and critics published in the 1970s in reviews and interviews. Positive judgments are drawn as solid arcs, negative judgments are dotted. They are shown from the moment of their publication to 24 months afterwards. The network is optimized (Fruchterman-Rheingold algorithm implemented in Pajek) such that polarizing groups are clearly distinguished and persons that pass or receive few evaluations are located in the margins.The visualization is a series of animated Scalable Vector Graphics offering many options for interaction, which are vital to close inspection of the network dynamics.The main insight is that a lower social background did not impede the careers of literary authors in the first half of the 1970s. However, lack of solidarity among them, which was stimulated by differentiation of their style group, pushed them to the margins in the second half of the decade.

Scientific Value:
In social network analysis, the actor-oriented approach currently is a very promising development. It offers statistical models explaining the evolution of overall network structure from the immediate structural context (ego-network) and attributes of the actors and their neighbors. The visualization shows all factors that are central to the actor-oriented approach: local network structure, e.g., balance, fixed and dynamic actor attributes, e.g., social class, commercial success, and literary style, and, finally, dyadic attributes, that is, properties of the pair of actors involved in a tie, such as style group homophily (a tendency to pass positive judgments on members of your own style group) and social class deference (a tendency to pass positive judgment on members of a higher social class) or domination (negative judgment on members of a lower social class). This type of visualization shows the statistical effects and offers opportunities to inspect them dynamically. Thus, they help to assess how different effects become confounded over time or whether particular effects only appear in part of the period. In addition, it shows how different tendencies at the actor level produce the overall structure of the network, which is helpful for complexity theory.

Educational Value:
To students of social networks, this visualization helps to understand the micro processes that actor-oriented statistical models investigate. In addition, it is vital to appreciating the dynamics of the social process under investigation. To scholars of literature and other people interested in literary criticism, who are usually not trained in statistical or network analysis, the visualization is more or less the only way to communicate the results of previous statistical and network analyses. It is my experience that they must see each of the authors and critics in order to acknowledge that literary judgments are not just subjective reactions to books but part of a group process as well.

References to Publications:

W. de Nooy, 'Signs over time: Statistical and visual analysis of a longitudinal signed network'. In: Journal of Social Structure (http://www.cmu.edu/joss/) 8 (2007)
[accepted for publication]

Related Projects:
http://www.fhk.eur.nl/personal/denooy/index.html

 

(6) Best Bibliography: Citation pathways in BioMed Central


Quicktime Movie ( 129MB / .MOV )
Jeffrey Demaine
jeffrey.demaine@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
National Research Council CISTI
Ottawa, ON, Canada

Description: Researchers document the history of their field by attributing ideas in the references of each article they write. The combined bibliographic references in a digital library’s collection are therefore a rich source of meta-data about the evolution of a research field. However this information is normally inaccessible to the user, and in any case the complexity of citation networks renders them meaningless without additional analysis. How can a digital library extract meaning from its citation meta-data and provide its users with an enhanced view of the collection?

The Best Bibliography application visualizes citation networks derived from the BioMed Central (BMC) datamining collection and identifies the central theme in the evolution of the network using the Main Path Analysis technique (Hummon & Doreian, 1989). The series of articles that form the Main Path summarize more citations than any other set of sequential articles in the network. By applying this classic Social Network Analysis technique to a digital library the Best Bibliography application demonstrates how the complexity of citation networks can be used to uncover the trends inherent in the published literature.

The bibliographic references in the BMC articles were parsed into a database, and the citations between articles in the database were then compiled. Given an article in the BMC collection (for example, as the result of a text-based search), the application calculates the immediate citation network of that article and visualizes that network using the prefuse Java toolkit. The articles are ordered by year of publication. Most importantly, the series of articles that summarize most of the citations in the network is highlighted, indicating the best bibliography of that research field.

Scientific Value:
While individual researchers each have their own view of a field, the patterns extracted from the compiled bibliographies in the digital library represent the collective judgement of all the authors in the field. This quantitative analysis of the formal attribution of ideas in science (citations) is therefore free from bias.

The value-added analysis this tool provides lies in the pre-compilation of citation databases and the Main Path Analysis of the networks therein. As such, the visualization is an elegant way of communicating the results but is not required: the articles along the main path could simply be listed textually in chronological order. Combining analysis of the data with a visualization of the network allows the user to see both the trend and its context, and permits further exploration of the research field.

Educational Value:
While text-based searches identify relevant articles based on word occurrences, the Best Bibliography application identifies the essential series of articles based on the cumulative citations in the network. Rather than seeking to replace the standard text-based search, the visualization contextualizes the results with regards to the development of the research field. This makes it useful to those who need to get “up to speed” on a topic quickly, particularly university students and researchers investigating new concepts.

From the perspective of the digital library itself, the tool provides a more advanced use of the collection. In an era where the scientific literature is easily accessible and seemingly limitless, the relevance of a digital library lies in the level of analysis and insight that it can offer users.

References to Publications: N/A
Related Projects:
http://arxiv.org/abs/cs/0309023
http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/papers/hummondoreian1989.pdf
http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?coll=GUIDE&dl=GUIDE&id=699923
http://ideas.repec.org/p/dgr/umamer/2005019.html

(7) Flight Patterns Movie


Quicktime Movie ( 13MB / .MOV )
Aaron Koblin
akoblin@ucla.edu
UCLA
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Judges Quotes:

"Artistic display of air traffic revealing characteristic patterns."
Vladimir Batagelj (Computer Science)
University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

"The very same design principles cause this animation to be visually attractive and to convey the emergence of a network from scattered activity. Simply delightful."
Ulrik Brandes (Graph Theory)
University of Konstanz, Germany

"I found Koblin's network visualizations immediately appealing. They have a simple beauty that conveys a large volume of data in an instantly understandable fashion. They are particularly effective at showing the complexity of the geography of airline networks, as well as the large degree of temporality in the flows. Also, in an age of climatic crisis and carbon footprints, they are rhetorically powerful as ecological visualizations showing the almost absurd degree of mobility in the USA."
Martin Dodge (Geography)
University of Manchester, UK

"This entry was by far the most beautiful. Their presentation had wonderful audio elements with the voice at the beginning and the music throughout. The visualizations leaves one with a sense of awe."
Elizabeth Kerr (Science & Technology)
Apple Computer

"There is nothing more clear and powerful than moving images when it comes to the representation of network dynamics. It would be interesting to bring alive other hidden networks in the same way."
Annamaria Talas (Science Producer)
Avalon, Australia

" 'Flight Patterns' is a visual feast, pulling the vast amount of bits and bytes on flights in the US and turning into a virtual Fourth of July spectacular fireworks, illuminating air travel in the 21st century."
David M. J. Lazer (Social Science)
Harvard University

"Visual Seduction in overdrive."
Ingo Günther (Journalism & Art)
Tokyo National University for Fine Arts & Music, Japan

"The flight patterns visualization was simple but clever in concept and brilliant in execution. It's a revelation, revealing hidden patterns that give us insight into the workings of the modern culture. Wish I could see the same thing done for the whole world!"
Allen Caroll (Cartographer)
National Geographic, Washington D.C.

Description: Aircraft data collected by the Federal Aviation Administration was parsed and plotted to create animations of North American travel paths. Through traces of airplanes, one can get a sense of the changing dynamics of air traffic in the skies above. The visualizations were created using the Processing programming language as well as Maya and After Effects. The project was inspired by investigations by Gabriel Dunne and Scott Hessels at UCLA and was included as part of their Celestial Mechanics project.

Scientific Value:
Flight Patterns tied for first place in the 2006 NSF Science Visualization Challenge. The work attempts to personalize otherwise abstract data and reveals specific dynamics of a complex system. It hints at the intricacies and complex factors guiding aircraft travel in North America, providing a perspective otherwise hidden to public observation.

Educational Value:
According to Felice Frankel, “[Flight Patterns] was incredibly informational, [it was also] unbelievably engaging… It’s one thing to convey data and another to make somebody want to look.” In this sense the greatest educational value may in fact be inspiring an enthusiasm about science, art, and the potential of visualization. Further, the project was created with an open source tool and the code was made available for investigation.

References to Publications:
N/A
Related Projects:
http://www.cmlab.com

(8) The Generation and Communication of Meaning in Social Systems


Windows Program ( 1.5MB / .EXE )
Loet Leydesdorff
loet@leydesdorff.net
University of Amsterdam
ASCoR
Amsterdam, North Holland
Netherlands

Description: The program simulates the recursive, incursive, and hyper-incursive development of a representation (in this case Van Gogh’s painting of the bridge of Arles). It can be shown that the incursive formulation of the logistic equation models not only the generation of an observer (Leydesdorff, 2005), but also the operation of a social system (Leydesdorff & Dubois, 2004). In addition to the communication of information, social systems also communicate meaning. Meaning can be generated incursively, but cannot be communicated without hyperincursion.

Scientific Value:
The sociological domain is different from the psychological one insofar as meaning can be communicated at the supra-individual level. The computation of anticipatory systems enables us to distinguish between these domains in terms of weakly and strongly anticipatory systems with a structural coupling between them. Anticipatory systems have been defined as systems which entertain models of themselves. The model provides meaning to the modeled system from the perspective of hindsight, that is, by advancing along the time axis towards possible future states. This can be modeled using incursion: unlike a recursive routine, incursion operates both on the previous and the current state of the system. Strongly anticipatory systems use expectations for constructing their current states. The dynamics of weak and strong anticipations can be simulated as incursion and hyper-incursion, respectively. Hyper-incursion generates “horizons of meaning” among which choices have to be made by incursive agency. The simulations show this for x(t) = a x(t+1) (1 - x(t+1) → x(t+1) = ½ ± ½ √[1 – (4/a) x(t)] The choice between the plus and the minus sign in this simulation is random.

Educational Value:
The simulation makes the abstract concepts of the (Rosen’s) mathematical theory and (Dubois’s) computation of anticipatory systems accessible for a visual appreciation. First, for values of the bifurcation parameter smaller than four, oscillations and chaos can be generated using the logistic map. Second, one can understand that providing meaning to the representation means a specific selection (using the incursive equation). The strength of this incursion becomes clear at the receiving end when the picture is communicated by the social system hyperincursively. The receiver is able to reconstruct the original representation, but only in the case of one of the two possible solutions of the quadratic equation.

References to Publications:

Related Projects:
http://www.ulg.ac.be/mathgen/CHAOS/CASYS.html

(9) Visual Analysis on Dynamics of Blogosphere Network


Larger Image ( 740 KB / JPG )
Full Res Image (124 MB / TIFF )
Makoto Uchida
copyright holder
uchida@race.u-tokyo.ac.jp
University of Tokyo
School of Engineering
Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa
Chiba, Japan

Susumu Shirayama
sirayama@race.u-tokyo.ac.jp
University of Tokyo
RACE
Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa
Chiba, Japan

Judges Quotes:

"The herd behavior of the Blogosphere is now as clear as an aerial view of migrating wildebeasts."
Allen Caroll (Cartographer)
National Geographic, Washington D.C.

Description: We performed a visual analysis on evolving dynamics of weblog entries, or ‘Blogosphere’, from the aspect of network analysis. Since contexts of weblogs are likely to reflect interests and attentions of their publishers, analysis on dynamically changing contents of weblogs and identification of emerging trends in the Blogosphere will give us an insight to public interests at a point in time. We formed a network of the Blogosphere, where nodes are individual entries. We focused on evolving dynamics of community structure, under the hypothesis that entries in the same communities should have similar topics. The dataset was collected from WWW, which has 25,668 nodes and 67,828 edges. After applying the community-detection method proposed by Newman (Newman and Girvan 2004), the network is divided into 127 communities. Coordinates of vertices was calculated by LGL (Adai et al. 2004) based on a minimum spanning tree (MST), then the network is visualized by expressing edges in the same community with the same color at several points in time, so that we can visually analyze the temporal evolution of the Blogosphere. Our visualization shows that the Blogosphere is highly modularized, where entries are interconnected locally dense and globally sparse. Moreover, our temporal analysis also reveals that entries in the same community are created at a similar time. By applying a linguistic filtering technique on body texts of entries, each community proved to have an individual topic represented by featured terms, and the emergence of communities corresponds to events in the real world (which is described in detail in Uchida et al. 2007). Our work has successfully enabled us to grasp visually and understand the dynamically changing features and emerging trends of the Blogosphere, in addition to simply being an artistically beautiful representation.

Scientific Value:
Analysis on the WWW, including weblogs, is a keen topic in these days. While there is much research about contents analysis and link analysis on the WWW, visualization techniques are not always applied on such research effectively, due to hugeness of dataset. Our work has enabled us to capture a visual feature of the Blogosphere, which can be applied to benchmarking and validation of other content-based and link-based analysis methods. Furthermore, in addition to a feature of individual communities, relationships and distances ‘between communities’ become possible to be discussed from the visualization. For example, if community about topic A is represented next to and has many inter-community link with topic B, but is far from and has little in common with topic C, bloggers who are interested in topic A might be more likely to be interested in topic B rather than topic C. Thus, our method could be applied to new methods for visual data mining on weblogs, and, as such, is expected to be of much use as a data source for marketing and commercial activities, such as advertising on the WWW.

Educational Value: While a part of the WWW is very familiar, it is too vast to imagine the whole. Our visualization provides a clue to grasp by intuition a large-scale feature and a fundamental organization principle of the Blogosphere, which is one of considerable parts of the WWW. Therefore, our work would be helpful for abecedarians of computer science on the WWW to figure out what the whole of the WWW is like–a good introduction so as to excite their interest.

References to Publications:

Related Projects: N/A

(10) Formation of Patterns from Complex Networks


Quicktime Movie ( 534MB / .MOV )

Makoto Uchida
copyright holder
uchida@race.u-tokyo.ac.jp
University of Tokyo
School of Engineering
Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa
Chiba, Japan

Susumu Shirayama
sirayama@race.u-tokyo.ac.jp
University of Tokyo
RACE
Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa
Chiba, Japan

Description: Various patterns like geometric patterns appear in nature and have fascinated mathematicians and artists for centuries. In network topologies, such patterns appear as well, and they are deeply related to the structure and function of networks. We have tried to elicit several patterns on complex networks. Edge-centric drawing methods for the different types of networks (three network models: BA, KE and CNN, and two examples of real-world networks, weblogs and an online social network) are used as follows. For a given network, LGL (Adai et al. 2004) calculates a minimum spanning tree (MST), and then arranges the vertices based on the MST. Edges are laid out according to the adjacency matrix. Edges are colorized according to a certain quantity. Temporal evolving processes of networks are displayed in animation. It is shown that several patterns in complex networks can be extracted from colorizing the vertices and edges according to the properties of network and the age in growing process. While static properties of networks, such as degree distributions and average path lengths, are similar, their large-scale evolution patterns prove to be quite different, having characteristic features. By analyzing the evolving and other patterns showed by the present work, and comparing these to network models and real-world networks, it will become possible that one considers which model of complex networks is most suitable for representation for analysis on structure and dynamics of a real-world network.

Scientific Value: There is much research about complex network visualization (Schulz and Schumann 2006, Wiese and Eicher 2006). Most has focused on presenting hierarchical structures in networks, but not on extracting geometrical patterns from visualized networks. In this work, many patterns are displayed by visualizing characteristics of network structures using complex network models and real-world network.

Educational Value:
In many cases, complex networks are represented by mathematical expressions or graph plots of statistical properties. They are useful to experts. However, it may be difficult for non-experts to understand a characteristic feature of networks by such representations. He/She needs another type of information, for example, topology of a network. A topological graph drawing provides an overall view of a complex network. At first glance, it is suitable to understand all of the networks, but its interpretation is not easy because arbitrariness of location of vertices exists, and expression of an evolving network is quite complicated. In this work, first, we explain the properties of a network using a topological network image. Second, in order to indicate evolution of network, some formation mechanisms of complex networks are shown visually using network models. Finally, a large-scale evolving network is visualized according to the properties of the network. It will be considered that the work assists to understand the structure and function of complex evolving networks.

References to Publications:

Related Projects: N/A

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