M.A. Thesis

My Thesis is about “Autonomous Assistants. Social Machines for the Network Society.” Which are, in this case, pieces of software that enable a computer to read your personal social network by analysing your communication behaviour. The fastest way to learn about my ideas is to read this page or to go for the English abstract.

The Book

The written part of my work has five major sections: Understanding social network mechanics, disucussing terms and descriptions for relationships, building and visualising a data model, developping a visual interface and applications, and a final outlook and critical comment. The results were documented in a book but they are available to you, too: Thesis, web version (pdf, 3.6 MB), Thesis, print version (pdf, 18.8 MB). So far, it is available in German only, but it has an English abstract.


The Analysator

The Analysator
The main tool to understand the data I received from my gratious test persons, is an interactive visualisation software. It produces a scatter plot with each point representing one person of the user’s social network and it can be rearranged to detect various trends. The user can get a more detailed “communication history” for each person in the form of sparklines-like bar charts (there is a post with a more comprehensive explanation).
Although it was designed as a research tool for myself, mainly, and is most interesting if you see your own data plotted onto the screen, you can get an impression as well with some sample data.
Analysator Demo

(Technology: mySQL, php+Smarty, xhtml, JavaScript+jQuery)
If you would like to have a look at the source code (commented but not too beautiful) just let me know.


Notes and Related Projects

Related projects on the blog
Whenever I find something especially remarkable in the context of my Thesis (and have the time) I write it down in my blog. It turned out to be especially useful for related projects that are often connected to several similar approaches or precedessors, which can be referenced easily by hyperlinks.
See all entries for my Thesis or Related Work in particular.