Our Qualrus program uses semantic networks to both visualize and reason
about semantic relationships and instances of codes. It lets users define
their own links in addition to using standard ones such as "isa" or
"partof." Properties of new links can be specified including transitivity,
asymmetry, and so on.
Sample scripts in the example projects available at our web site illustrate
how these relationships can be used to reason and perform common tasks in
various kinds of research. The semantic relationships are also used heavily
in the computational strategies Qualrus uses to suggest codes as you code.
While our representation does not mirror conceptual graphs identically, it
has most of their properties and can be used for tasks such as answering
questions about the data, parsing sentences, and many of the other tasks for
which conceptual graphs have been used. Because those capabilities can be
built into scripts, complex reasoning tasks can be implemented in Qualrus as
separate modules that call one another to model a wide range of phenomena.
For example, one sample project I am currently developing represents
historical and biographical data and can answer questions about the data or
generate complex descriptions that describe characteristics of an individual
in various historical periods, determine which people were contemporaries of
one another, trace sequences of related historical events to construct
historical explanations, and so on. Other projects use these semantic
networks to create interactive web sites that grade student essay questions,
parse free-form questions about data then generate answers, and even assess
the methods used by published social science research articles.
I think you're right about the power of these forms of reasoning. But I
don't think conceptual graphs are the only game in town for doing that.
If anyone is interested in the history and biography project, I will be
presenting a paper summarizing this work at the Advances in Qualitative
Methods conference in Banff in May
(http://www.ualberta.ca/%7Eiiqm/aqm2003/index.html). I hope to see you
Edward Brent, Ph.D.
President, Idea Works, Inc.
100 West Briarwood
Columbia, Missouri 65203 USA
(573) 446-2199 (fax)
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At 15:37 14.04.2003 -0400, you wrote:
>I'm looking for software that supports coding and qualitative analysis with
>conceptual graphs (CGs). Rather than codes having single concepts, CGs
>allow structured coding statements consisting of multiple associated
>and conceptual relations to be used for greater expressiveness and
>See links and example below.
>This capability was discussed by the Richards' paper (1994?) Using
>Qualitative Research, in the section on "Conceptual Network Systems", but
>doesn't seem to have made it into the advertized features of current QDA
>software. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
>For CG references, see
>For examples, see
>Given English sentence "John is going to Boston by bus" in a PD selection.
>propositional content would be...
>Go has an agent which is a person John.
>Go has a destination which is a city Boston.
>Go has an instrument which is a bus.
>and the CG would be...
> (Agnt)->[Person: John]
> (Dest)->[City: Boston]
>which can be processed using graph operations and logic for building
"Computers, like every technology, are a vehicle for the transformation
of tradition" (Winograd & Flores, 1987)
Scientific Software Development - Berlin - www.atlasti.de
Dipl.-Psych. Dipl.-Inform. Thomas Muhr - [log in to unmask]
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