Define Me: Chimera

Define Me: Chimera

DefineMe: Chimera is a social networking (Facebook) application in which users define metaphorical profiles and avatars for each other, and several games and avatar creation systems where users' representations change dynamically based upon social context, user interaction, and artifact use. The DefineMe database is designed to be lightweight, dynamic, and extensible, while implementing categorical relationships between members. When comparing profiles, DefineMe is designed to match lexical items and logical relations directly, or it can compare the structures of profiles following insights from the analogical structure-mapping engine (SME) developed by Ken Forbus et. al. Influenced by Eleanor Rosch's influential prototype theory, the labeling system can also be used to define aspects of categories themselves. For instance, a 'robin' tag can be added to the category, 'birds,' to define the prototype of that category. In this way, members can belong to multiple groups, but individuals can represent the prototypical members of groups. This relatively lightweight structure avoids some of the pre-defined categorization built into many social networking infrastructures, and has the potential to more nuanced identity phenomena than many hierarchically organized social networking profiles allow.

Credits: 

Graduate Students: Daniel Upton, Ben Medler, Jichen Zhu; Undergraduate Student: Richard Shemaka

Associated Project: 
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