Network Science for Non-Scientists: simple visualisation for complex network structures

Increasing computing power along with increasing availability of digital records has lead to a coming-of-age for network science. Techniques from computer science, mathematics and physics now make it possible for network scientists to mine digital resources and then construct, analysis and visualise the resulting networks. The resulting networks may contain millions of nodes and edges, with rich metadata associated with each of them.

While the study of such networks is interesting in and of itself, the end-users of the information in the networks are typically not network scientists. This project involves constructing a self-contained user interface so that a user with no background in network science is able to visualise, explore and manipulate complex networks.

Prospective students must be familiar with data visualisation. A knowledge of Java and the D3 visualisation library would be ideal.

The Complex Systems research group at IRL is involved in numerous projects which involve analysis of complex networks. While there is plenty of existing software which allows network scientists to manipulate and explore these networks, such software is generally inaccessible to our collaborators, and the end-users of our data, who generally do not have a technical background. This project would produce a stand-alone interface which would allow these collaborators and end-users to explore networks and would provide a far richer experience than the static, one-off network visualisations which are currently available.

Submitted by Tim McNamara on