Online causal network

Discussion in 'Sci Reviews' started by Andrus, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. Andrus Registered Member

    I'd like to ask your opinion on if an online database of connected causes and effects could anyhow help science-minded people?

    It's based on why-questions and short answers - thus linking causes to effect.

    Why baby cries? Because he/she is hungry.
    Why baby is hungry? Because he/she refuses breast-feeding.
    Why baby refuses breast-feeding? Because mother has eaten spicy food.
    I created a similar example online but I'm not allowed to post links here yet. (If you really care, you can go to three W-s, dot whysdom, dot net and find Why baby cries)

    It is somewhat close to "5 Whys" method used by Toyota for root-cause-analysis. The difference is that the network could be as big as necessary and become interconnected (including loops).

    Disclaimer: while I am the author of the prototype, I have no intent of spamming SF. My intent is to hear your opinion on if such online causal network could bring you value. Or perhaps bring more IQ to humankind

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    Thank you in advance,
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Are you off your medications again?
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  5. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    The problem with such questions and simple answers is there is no depth. So for instance if you intend to create a professional system artificial intelligence using the answers from such a database, it wouldn't actually understand anything about what the question or answers actually mean.

    What is an orange? It can be a colour and it can be a fruit, which is the simple answers. However it has further depth with smell, taste and touch (Sound if you throw it against a wall). If you wanted to build an indepth database then you'd need to consider what "senses" we'd apply and of course what "Meta" understanding we piece together about something from them.
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  7. Andrus Registered Member

    I think the *need* for depth varies depending on what is the information used for.

    For regular people, it might be helpful to see small amount of short information about a particular problem they are facing. It's kind of a pattern that when a person is stuck with a topic then a proper why-question at a right time makes him/her think about the topic from a very different perspective.

    AI (or also algorithmic) analysis on this data also depends on what answers do we want to get out of the system.
    There is already some meta info:
    * "proximity" of related questions and answers.
    * nouns+verbs inside the questions and answers.
    * similar nouns+verbs in "closely" related questions and answers.
    * "opinion of users" in terms of number of votes on an answer.

    It is possible to add more details but it would reduce usability if there was distracting amount of them.

    It is true though that I cannot see well yet what different kind of answers would be beneficial - that's why ask advice here.
  8. Andrus Registered Member

    Please be more specific than plain irony.
    Was the text hard to understand?
    Do you consider the idea absurd like an idea that the earth is floating in the space?
  9. cornel Registered Senior Member

    Is this a database or a network ?
    Did you already make it ?

    I guess you could make some AI by interconnecting it, only then it's not going to work with single-answers.
    As for the normal user, they have a looot to choose from already, there is chacha where humans answer questions, and, well, just google a few why-questions.
    As for whether science-minded people could be helped by this, it 'd depend on what questions it could answer.
    (you may want to restrict it to a certain type of questions, for example non-philosophical would make it a lot easier to create)

    Why do you want to make this database ?

    ps:breeding means to (sexually) reproduce, i guess the word you were looking for is feeding.
  10. Andrus Registered Member

    A database where causes and effects are linked together so it internally forms a graph. Term "network" was ambigous, I see.

    Yes, it's in www dot whysdom dot net
    It's not very nice and convenient but existing things should work. Question "Why baby cries?" has more content as a demo.

    Currently, connections are made automagically through users asking questions and providing answers. However, it could also be very interesting to intelligently detect possible missing links and offer them for users to confirm.

    ChaCha is interesting. But I have found none that only asks why-questions and create cause-and-effect relations.

    That's a very good point, I'll think about it.

    Because I've repeatedly seen the power of well-placed why-question and I would like to share this power with other people in the world.

    Fixed it, thanks a lot..
  11. cornel Registered Senior Member

    Ah, i just saw it, multiple answers are listed and people can pick one, not too bad.
    I 'd (personally) add an option to mark answers as "this answer skips or might skip a few why-questions/steps in between."

    It is a network, just not a computer-network,(what i thought) but a question-network.(which you probably meant)
  12. Andrus Registered Member

    cornel, thank you very much for taking a look.

    This is a very valid point - the answers may "jump too far" from question so the intermediate relations are not obvious.

    You put it more clearly than I could.
    Plus, I thought it could be seen as a network (or graph) of cause-effect relations when looked upside down. Does this make sense somehow?
  13. cornel Registered Senior Member

    I guess it could, but, you 're gathering causes which are linked to effects, you 'd also have to gather (additional/optional) effects to causes if you want to look at it upside down.
  14. Andrus Registered Member

    I added "upside" link to questions to see how it looks. Is this roughly what you meant?
    For example, if you dig-in starting from this:
    Or, this one has a bit deeper tree:
  15. cornel Registered Senior Member

    Nevermind, i thought that with "upside-down" you meant reverting the cause and effect in the question, aka you would be asking/stating "the baby is hungry and thus:" and then as answer "he cries"

    But the site looks good imo.
    I think some (strategic) games can use this type of databases as (part of) user-manual.
  16. Andrus Registered Member

    Or, "If baby is hungry" then "he may start crying" or something along the lines, if I got your point?

    I currently don't have a good idea on how to do it in a usable manner so it wouldn't serve as "too much noise" and "too complex to use" in the system.
    But the two-way look at cause-and-effect network would definitely be an interesting challenge to achieve.

    Thank you very much - this means a lot at this stage. I'm now even thinking of calling crowd-funding for help because my intent is mainly on public interest. So why not try.

    This is a very interesting idea. I recall Civilopedia in Civilization and being stuck with lack of some resources in Age Of Empires

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    Clicks. Definitely.
  17. Andrus Registered Member


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