User Interfaces and Augmentations for Collaborative Information Distillation

(*this page reflects the project description on the SocialWorlds group website.)

Kevin Nam, Mark AckermanPublication (Group’07)

Keywords: organizational memory, collective intelligence, knowledge management, online communities, collaborative software, user interfaces, information visualization

A standard problem with online discussions is that once use has ceased either by deadline or by neglect, a site is often a bramble of ideas and topics, too large and unwieldy for its information to be successfully reused. A process of filtering, structuring and organizing of the information, or the process of distillation is needed.     distillation process

Two design principles, which we call incremental diagenesis andincremental summarization, help human editors flexibly distill the informal information. Our system, Arkose, is built as a demonstration of these principles, providing the necessary tools for distillation. These tools include a number of visualization mechanisms (Keyword Farm and Author Network) and information retrieval mechanisms, as well as an authoring tool and a navigator for the information space. They support a gradual increase in the order and reusability of the information space and allow various levels of intermediate states of a distillation.

Our current implementation of the Arkose system demonstrates that such a system is feasible although complex.

Some technical details:

Arkose is entirely written in JAVA.  It uses prefuse toolkit for the underlying data visualization, and lucene engine for text analyses and search capabilities.