Since the following was written a new page with more technical information has been written.
Technical information will be found on many different pages here, but this will be a central location for finding and accessing all of it. For now the term “technical” will refer to things involving the inner workings of computer and computer software, and to anything mathematical beyond the elementary level. This is to unify to disparate communities, since many people including computer programmers and analysts are uncomfortable with the more mathematical sides of their own discipline, let alone others, and many professional mathematicians know little about computers and have never tried to program one. But math and computers are related in many ways and experts in either are justifyably regarded by the rest of humanity as too wrapped up in technical details. This page is for people who are indeed enraptured, so to speak, with all the technical details and like it that way just fine.
Eventually this page will give a quick summary and point the technical reader to other pages for those details, but for now it will just give a very quick summary. This very large project covers a lot of subject matter with a fairly small number of techniques from two branches of computer science and their mathematical relatives. Survey data from sociological studies and as much as can be collected here on the web from forms on this site will be analyzed using numerical methods of the usual kind with vectors and matrices, doing well known operations involving pseudoinverses, eigenvectors, and so on, and then the results will be used as the input to a lot of combinatorial optimization techniques involving bipartite matching, minimum spanning trees, shortest path and travelling salesman problems, and so on. The results will be used in a heuristic way, given to users as suggestions for social, political, or economic activity which they will be free to test, follow, or ignore as they please. We hope to persuade them to provide feedback for us, so we can apply machine learning techniques including neural network modelling to produce suggestions that are better in two ways:
- The suggestions should catch their interest more, and so be more likely to be tested or followed
- The suggestions should be better overall, producing more successful social contacts and relationships.
This may sound something like some nerd or technogeek’s mad plan to get laid though devious high-tech means, which may not have been so very far from the truth, once — the originator of these ideas and perpetrator of this web site may even occasionally admit that such a motive had crossed his mind in earlier days. But as he has aged and the fires have dampened down a bit, the overall idea has started to seem more valuable for it’s overall effect on society as a whole, and for everyone in it, and less like a path to personal pleasure.
The idea has grown considerably over the years, until it now looks like a method of performing a lot of different services for people. The first form that has been posted at this site include a list of such services, which includes finding people jobs, friends, investments, places to live, people to share this with in various intimate or merely affectionate way, investors to fund projects and so on. Another take on the possible services to society has been written up as the proposal for an Internet-based company , a commercial venture that looks like it might be very profitable for somebody.
Actually the project just described, for social matching and social search of various kinds is only one of several ambitious projects based on the same technology. An overview of all (well, most) of them should illustrate the extent to which an overactive imagination can turn to a life of technological fantasy exceeding even the more animal fantasies of those years when the internal fires burned brightest.
For more information on this, see the SocialTechnology.ca home page , the progress report page , or various amusing pages at the personal site of the author of these lines, such as the discussion of Net Net Baud Rate , or the Bicycle and the Matching Transfomer .
Copyright © 2000 Douglas P. Wilson