May 6, 2009

Drawing Map of My Research

Today I would like to draw the map of my research.

First of all, my main theme is "social creativity". Therefore the word is drawn in the center of the map. Around the main theme, three approaches I take is written; theoretical understanding, data analysis, and tool design. This is the center of  my research.

Specifying each approach, first, I apply the following theories for understanding a social creativity; social system theory, complexity theory, and philosophy of knowledge. Social system theory is a sociological theory which was proposed by Niklas Luhmann. The theory contains the concepts such as autopoiesis, system, environment, contingency, communication, media,meaning, and evolution. Complexity theory is related to complex systems, and it contains the concepts such as emergence, chaos, fractal, power law, phase transition, network, and self-organization. And philosophy of knowledge contains the concepts of knowledge, cognition, learning, and inference, that is induction, deduction, and abduction.

Second, I study with the following methods;  evolutionary analysis, network analysis, knowledge mining. With evolutionary analysis, the process of evolution is investigated. It means that we study how the target is changed over time with remaining some feature  of itself. This kind of method has been developed in biology, computational science, and evolutionary economics, however it is under developing. Network analysis is the method to capture the relation among the target as a network. The method has been developed as graph theory in mathematics, social network analysis in sociology, and complex network in physics. And knowledge mining consists both of qualitative and qualitative, and more specifically text mining and deep interview. 

Third, I design the following tools in order to support social creativity; simulation, map, and language. Simulation is the method to generate phenomena with computer agent and/or human. In a broad sense, it is also related to virtual reality, augmented reality, tangible objects, and  ubiquitous environment. Map is a visual representation to overview a certain world from a certain viewpoint. In this context, the map is not limited to geographic map, but also the map of networks if the position and measure are defined. And language is considered in a broad sense, which contains pattern languages,  modeling languages, and visual languages. All of them have a specific words and grammar to compose more complex representation.

Summarizing the approaches, the whole structure of the map can be drawn like this. Each approach of three-fold division at top level has also three-fold division of concrete theory, method, and product. With using the theories and methods, I am trying to understand the mechanism of social creativity, and also to design tools to enhance the social creativity.

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