You are using the RKB Explorer, the current primary human interface to the ReSIST Knowledge Base (RKB).

As part of the ReSIST Project, a Resilience Knowledge Base (RKB) has been built; it has gathered data from many bibliographic and other sources, and structure has been added to allow it to be queried by topic. Particular attention has been given to topics concerned with Dependable Computing and Resilient systems.

Index

Overview

The RKB Explorer is started by going to the URL: http://rkbexplorer.com/.

The page will load, along with the Java Applet which may take a little more time. If a suitable version of Java is not available, the Explorer will still work, although the graphical network view will not be available.

The interface is now ready for use.

The user can focus on an item in one of seven dimensions:

People
Individual people in the RKB. They may have multiple identities (B. Randell and Brian Randell), but the closer they are to Resilient Systems the better their identities will be curated.
Projects
Projects that the RKB has discovered. In particular, the RKB is usually up to date on all projects funded by the European Union (EU) via the CORDIS database, and many of those funded by the US' NSF.
Resilience Mechanisms
Metadata about mechanisms that have been studied in the ReSIST project.
Courses
Metadata on course material, both generated by the ReSIST Project (identified by the ReSIST logo, Tiny ReSIST Logo), and others from other sources.
Publications
Metadata from a wide range of primarily Computer Science resources, including all of CiteSeer and DBLP, as well as many ACM and IEEE papers.
Organisations
Organisations: academic, government and industrial.
Research Areas
In principle, any area from Computer Science or even wider, but topics in Resilient Systems are better curated.

At any given time, the upper half of the display details information about a single resource, the current selection, which may be of any of the seven types. To the upper right is a panel providing detailed information regarding the current resource, while the largest part of the interface to the upper left is a graph representation of the current resource, shown in the context of related resources of the same type (a so-called "Community of Practice" graph). The graph permits the user to change the current focus, and expands on double-click to show additional resources as required. These relationships are "calculated" dynamically from the heterogeneous large sets of information about people, publications, research topics and projects that have been integrated into the RKB.

The lower half of the RKB Explorer displays four columns detailing the people, research topics, publications and projects which are related to the currently selected resource. Selecting any of these items changes the focus of the entire display to reflect the new resource. If the newly selected resource is of the same type as the current resource, then it is added to the graph display, otherwise the graph is cleared and replaced with the new representation.

For example, if the item of focus is a Project, the graph view will show projects in similar areas, a People list will show people associated with the project, and Publications will show project-related and field-related publications.

The type of information in each of the columns can be changed by selecting Little arrow, which will bring up a menu to select a different type, as follows:

Panel menu

If the system appears to be taking a long time (> 30 seconds) without populating the lists, the interface can be returned to its original state by pressing your browser's reload button.

Navigation

In normal use, focus is changed by choosing an object from one of the dimensions, either in the graph view, or in the list view.

Two actions can be taken: a single click simply changes the focus. A double click causes the RKB Explorer to add related items to the graphical view.

The user can use the browser's normal history facilities to move forwards and backwards through recently-viewed pages.

In the menu area there is a "Search" choice, which allows the user to search for text in the whole of the RKB. When used, the interface brings up a window which allows the user to select the type of results required, with the initial default being the type of entity currently being looked at.

Search panel results with turing entered

Note that the search is not word-based, but free text (in fact "regular expression"), and to avoid including words such as "lecturing", a space has been placed at the start of the search string.

Menu Bar

Menu image

The Menu Bar has the following components:

Location
An idea of where you are in the structure, including some links that will get you to some starting pages.
Search
Brings up the text search box, as described above.
Links to other related pages

Graph

Graphic image

The Graph display gives a visual presentation of the item of focus, and indicates those items of the same type to which the current item is related. Thus in the figure, "F von Henke" is in focus, and the node is highlighted in red. The directly related people are attached by links, where the width of the link (weight of the line) indicates the strength of the connection. Directly connected people are shown in grey, and people who are not directly connected are left white. Those for whom the related items are shown are depicted by a dark black edge to the circle. (These relationships have been dynamically discovered, or "calculated", taking into iaccount such factors as co-membership of projects, and co-authorship of papers.)

There are a variety of ways of manipulating the view given by the graphic pane.

Clicking on a node has the effect of changing the focus to that item; double clicking changes the focus, but also brings up the related items in the graph window.

The buttons on the right function as follows:
Zoom in
Zooms in on the graph
Zoom out
Zooms out from the graph
Zoom one to one
Zooms to (1:1), a natural size
View help
Brings up the Help Page

Finally, context menus and key modifiers are available:

Click
Clicking on a node causes that node to become the focus of the pane.
Clicking and dragging the white canvas which surrounds the graph enables you to move the graph around.
Right-click or Alt-click (Mac)
Right- or Alt-clicking on a node brings up a context menu:

Context menu on node

Using this context menu on a node allows the user to Expand, Collapse or Remove the node and related items as appropriate.
Scroll
If you have a scroll wheel, this can be used to zoom in or out.

Detail

Detail image

The detail pane gives appropriate information about the item that is the current focus. This will have a digest of the information that the RKB has about the item, as well as other information that may be discoverable using Linked Data. In the "Nigel Shadbolt" example above, the Description section has been retrieved from the dbpedia.org Linked Data site.

Related lists

Related lists image

This part of the window seeks to provide information that is related the item of focus, according to connections in the RKB, in the four currently-selected categories . The ordering of the items in each list aims to be in decreasing order of level and strength of connection.

The details displayed are for "Nigel Shadbolt" at the start of 2009.

To identify related resources, a number of complex analyses are performed over the data held within the RKB. Queries are executed to discover other resources which are related to the currently selected resource, based on pre-defined relationships such as co-authorship, or affiliations to a common project or organisation. These relationships are weighted, with each result contributing to an overall measure of 'closeness' for potential candidate resources.

The items in these lists can be clicked or double clicked.

Clicking has the effect of changing the focus to that item; double clicking changes the focus, but also brings up the related items in the graph window.

Clicking between these panels, or any of the panels in the interface allows them to be resized as required.

Why?

In these detail panes, each of the entries has and icon with a question mark next to it (Little question mark icon). Clicking on this will show, in a new window, the reasons that the RKBExplorer system has suggested that this item is connected to the item currently in focus.

For exmaple, it might show:

Cliff Jones connected to Joseph Coleman by papers and institution.

Scenarios

Stefano Bonelli from Deep Blue has written a few scenarios (pdf) which may help you to get a feel of ways in which the RKBExplorer might be used.

System Requirements

The RKB Explorer is built to run on all modern operating systems and browsers.

It requires a standard installation of Java, version 1.4 or above to be able to view the graphic of network connections. (You can still run without seeing the network graphic if you do not have a suitable Java installation.)

You can check whether you have Java installed by going to http://www.java.com/en/download/help/testvm.xml

If it is not installed, follow the instructions to install it.

In particular, it has been used with the following software

Windows XP: Internet Explorer (v6, v7) and Firefox

However, please note that we regret to report that the Internet Explorer v7 version is not fully functional, and recommend the use of a different browser, such as Firefox.

MacOS X: Safari, Firefox, Opera, Camino, Flock

Linux: Firefox

Internet Explorer on MacOS X has not been maintained by Microsoft for a long time, and so is no longer able to support applications such as this.

If you find there is a problem, please report it.