The INSPIRES project is about connections. Making links in datasets. Making connections we would not normally see.
As part of this JISC funded research, Get Real Solutions have been commissioned to create a visualisation environment to support the project. This video demonstrates the latest incarnation of the environment.
The environment is live and designed to be used in a passive or active way. In either 'mode' phrases are added to the space. Before appearing, the words are processed by the INSPIRES back-end systems.
First, synonyms are discovered. Strong synonyms are added as additional phrases to the environment.
Second, added phrases (the original and synonyms) are processed against all the other phrases in the environment. Using sophisticated analysis, connection strengths to each other phrase in the system are calculated. This information is used to determine where the phrase will be placed. Strong connections are also revealed within the environment as links.
An important part of the environment is what the observer brings. The human unconscious will search for connection and pattern and can often make links where others do not see. The environment displays in a way we believe people will make their own connections. It is a beautiful and engaging view. One that does not jar or enforce a pre-determined view. In passive mode we hope such an environment would spark connections and links to aid discussion. In active mode the participant can select words to promote or demote importance.
A key factor is every time there is a change - a new word or promotion / demotion - the INSPIRES system recalculates. INSPIRES connections are revealed like firing synapses in the brain.