CPSC 547 Project III - Webgrid

Jonathan Cooke - 937419

When I first entered the WebGrid page, it was clearly broken into three distinct portions, each pertaining to a different section of the project. Part 1 is strictly an exploration exersize to familiarize the use with WebGrib. I began the exploration process by clicking on a "grid on instructable systems". At first glance, the interface is quite confusing to the initial user. Terms like PrinCon and FOCUS seem to be of another language. However after clicking on the corresponding buttons, I saw the almost completely incoherient jumble of lines on a coordinate axis, but it did relate the correlation of various items in the list of items on the previous screen. FOCUS was much more readable and showed the strong (and weaker) relations.

After learning the interface and purpose of WebGrid, I felt bold enough to tackle Part 2. It gave me 3 items, 2 which were similar, once which was differnt. I added the properties of "High Speed Networks" to group the "Future of the Information Highway" and "Broadband Networks" and used Soical Issues to isolate "Privacy and Security Issues." I then did other triad elicitations, 4 in total. This gave rough groupings of topics, but nowhere near as accurate as Dr. Gaines' elicitations. My grid, PrinCon, and FOCUS can all be seen here. Also, a comparison of mine and Dr. Gaines' elicitations can also be shown here.

It was now time to go onto part 3. I opened a new grid and entered 8 elements, "Asynchronous Transfer Mode", "Ethics", "Privacy and Security Issues", "Fibre Optic Cabling", "Palm-Top Computers", "X.500", "Video On Demand", and "Present Internet Services". I then did 6 triad elicitations and found that there were grouping similar to what I expected. "Asynchronous Transfer Mode" and "Fibre Optic Cabling" were very similar, as were "Ethics" and "Privacy and Security Issues." My grid, PrinCon and FOCUS displays can be seen here. I feel that these 6 elicitations that I performed were sufficient in comparing these 8 elements because it gathered groupings that were very similar and isolated those that were not.

The whole WebGrid experience was a positive one. It seemed to be a program that mimmicked common sense. However added a degree of complexity to this mental problem. We all try to sort out in our own minds which things are alike and which ones aren't. We make groupings of similar objects or thoughts known as clumping. WebGrid does this but uses repetitive elicitation to do this task. It also allows the user to view these groupings and their degree of association or exclusion. Some people may actually need this program to make decisions and groupings, however with a limited set of elements and a limited degree of certainty, the human mind may still be the most efficient and reliable way to handle the task that WebGrid sets out to accomplish.

Last Modified March 25, 1996
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