Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Our Word-Morph Network
We asked ourselves how people learn to play this game: will they be slow at the beginning and get faster soon? Will they learn the shortest paths between all pairs or do something different? We found out that people learn 'landmark words' through which they tend to navigate. Thus, they only need to learn n many paths in a network with n nodes, instead of learning n*n different paths. Of course, the paths that navigate through a certain landmark word are a bit longer than the shortest paths (in this case by a factor of about 1.6). It thus seems that our human mind tries to optimize both: path length but also the effort to learn about the network. Check out our paper if you want to learn more about this research; we got a best paper award for it from CogSci 2011.
The graph was layouted in Gephi, and coloured by an automatic clustering algorithm. An obvious pattern emerged, consisting of five central groups of words (dark blue, green red, yellow, light blue). Can you guess what these five groups are?