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Proceedings Paper

Neural network based visualization of collaborations in a citizen science project
Author(s): Alessandra M. M. Morais; Rafael D. C. Santos; M. Jordan Raddick
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Paper Abstract

Citizen science projects are those in which volunteers are asked to collaborate in scientific projects, usually by volunteering idle computer time for distributed data processing efforts or by actively labeling or classifying information - shapes of galaxies, whale sounds, historical records are all examples of citizen science projects in which users access a data collecting system to label or classify images and sounds. In order to be successful, a citizen science project must captivate users and keep them interested on the project and on the science behind it, increasing therefore the time the users spend collaborating with the project. Understanding behavior of citizen scientists and their interaction with the data collection systems may help increase the involvement of the users, categorize them accordingly to different parameters, facilitate their collaboration with the systems, design better user interfaces, and allow better planning and deployment of similar projects and systems. Users behavior can be actively monitored or derived from their interaction with the data collection systems. Records of the interactions can be analyzed using visualization techniques to identify patterns and outliers. In this paper we present some results on the visualization of more than 80 million interactions of almost 150 thousand users with the Galaxy Zoo I citizen science project. Visualization of the attributes extracted from their behaviors was done with a clustering neural network (the Self-Organizing Map) and a selection of icon- and pixel-based techniques. These techniques allows the visual identification of groups of similar behavior in several different ways.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2014
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9122, Next-Generation Analyst II, 912207 (22 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2050183
Show Author Affiliations
Alessandra M. M. Morais, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (Brazil)
Rafael D. C. Santos, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (Brazil)
M. Jordan Raddick, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9122:
Next-Generation Analyst II
Barbara D. Broome; David L. Hall; James Llinas, Editor(s)

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