Open dataset of human navigation strategies in foreign networked systems

March 13, 2018, Budapest University of Technology and Economics
The image to the left shows the whole word morph network in a clustered layout. The word morph network is a network of three- letter English words, in which two words are connected by a link if they differ only in a single letter. For example “FIT” is linked to “FAT” as they differ only in the middle letter, but “FIT” and “CAT” are not neighbours in this network since more than one letters differs in them. The network has a giant connected component and a small cluster containing only two nodes. The right image shows a word morph game example with source and target words “YOB” and “WAY”. A shortest path solution is displayed in red, while a solution given by a specific player is shown in green. Credit: Budapest University of Technology and Economics

Navigation within and across different types of information is an underlying process in performing many everyday tasks. Although human navigation is a natural part of life, the exploration of the underlying mechanisms is far from trivial. A structured scientific dataset has been offered by the computer scientist András Gulyás and his research team to investigate human navigation in foreign complex systems. "We have been doing research in navigability of complex networks, both technological and natural ones," says Dr. Gulyás, senior research fellow at Budapest University of Technology and Economics and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, "and we felt we would need a smart database collecting analyzable data on human navigation."

The mathematician and Android software developer Attila Korosi had the idea to make a free on the Android platform that would collect navigation data. We carefully designed and implemented the Android app. It is a word morph game called FIT-FAT-CAT," says Korosi. "The essence of this game is to find short routes between English three-letter words by changing only one letter per step, and, of course, through valid English words."

The research group member Dr. Marianna Sliz, linguist and cognitive scientist of Eotvos Science University of Budapest says, "The word morph games are a very special from human navigation, relying on words as elements of sentences, but the paths found by humans are fully independent from the meaning of the words, and even have no relation to meaningful sentences. Humans can navigate quickly and efficiently in their mental lexicon when speaking, for example, but playing this game requires a completely different navigation."

"We used this dataset in our investigations, but we think other researchers can also utilize it, which is why we put extra effort in making our database easily reachable," says Dr. Gulyas, and expresses the hope that the data can also inspire future collaborations. "According to our previous study we already know that the routes produced by Fit Fat Cat players obey hierarchical selection rules, similarly to other complex systems like the internet or the structural networks of the human brain. We strongly believe that we and others could use this dataset to further explore the nature of human ," says Dr. Gulyás.

Explore further: How spatial navigation correlates with language

More information: Kőrösi, A. et al. A dataset on human navigation strategies in foreign networked systems. Sci. Data 5:180037 DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2018.37 (2018)

Csoma, Attila, et al. "Routes Obey Hierarchy in Complex Networks." Scientific Reports 7.1 (2017): 7243. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-07412-4

Related Stories

How spatial navigation correlates with language

November 9, 2017

Cognitive neuroscientists from the Higher School of Economics and Aarhus University experimentally demonstrate how spatial navigation impacts language comprehension. The results of the study have been published in NeuroImage.

Google Maps Navigation soon to be available offline

June 9, 2011

( -- All About Phones, a Dutch-based tech site has released information that implies that Google Maps Navigation will have an offline version before the end of the summer. The information, which is only a rumor ...

EGNOS augments the U.S. GPS system for safer skies

February 15, 2016

The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is the first pan-European satellite navigation system. It augments the US GPS satellite navigation system and makes it suitable for safety critical applications ...

Ambiguous words probably make communicating easier

June 4, 2014

It's a good thing some words have many meanings—ambiguous words actually make communication easier and may be an inevitable consequence of a language's evolution, according to a new SFI working paper by External Professor ...

Recommended for you

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

What rising seas mean for local economies

February 15, 2019

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors—or in their parking lots.

The friendly extortioner takes it all

February 15, 2019

Cooperating with other people makes many things easier. However, competition is also a characteristic aspect of our society. In their struggle for contracts and positions, people have to be more successful than their competitors ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.