Scanning for Buddies


A public version of my home grown “buddyscanner” is now available! It is a visualisation tool that I built in order to analyse communication log files of my group of test persons. This data can be usually found as a part of your phonebill or it can be extracted out of email archives.

You can give it a try right away: Start the buddyscanner

Of course, the visualisation is not too meaningful until you use your own data. But with this anonymized version you can get an impression of how it looks and works. (If you would like to have a private visualisation (where private means your data and a safe, password protected place) just let me know: blog [at]

The visualisation can be rearranged to reflect different aspects of the data. It offers items that can be found in the raw data directly (such as the overall duration of communication), as well as computed values like reciprocity. The final value (from the perspective of my thesis), relevance, is available, too. Relevance is similiar to a kind of “rank” or “importance” of that person as it is seen by the machine. Although I’m using rather simple scoring methods, the results were quite meaningful to my test persons, already.

Some additional explanations:

  • In order to rearrange the diagram you need to click into the select boxes at the end of each axis. There is a third box available that is used for the “third” dimension, which is mapped onto the size of each square.
  • Hovering over a data point will load a flyout window with a more fine grained diagram. To keep it opened, you can click onto the according square.
  • In the flyout, a bar for each call/mail is displayed at the day of the year when it took place. The height is related to the duration/size of the event. Light blue means it occured during (usual) work times, dark blue is for the evening and medium for the weekends.
  • You can make some remarks for other users in the comments field if you like to.
  • If you want to keep track of some points across differnt sortings, you can highlight them with the button at the bottom of the flyout.

If you want to see more, express your doubts or have some remarks, don’t hesitate to make a statement below!

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