Research Dandelions - Australiana version
The image above, which also appears at the centre of the 2011 calendar, is called "Research Dandelions" by Carlos Riveros, Mario Inostroza-Ponta and Pablo Moscato, from the Centre for Bioinformatics, Biomarker Discovery and Information-Based Medicine (CIBM).
This image represents the natural clusters of all the 5800 research manuscripts published in the 5 year period 2003-2008 by the University of Newcastle’s academics, many of whom are Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) researchers. Colour indicates the Australia Research Council rankings of journals, while groups are created based on area of research.
The clustering groups those items exhibiting common characteristics, given a measure of similarity between items. The two largest "dandelions" correspond to publications in journals in Medical and Health sciences, which also accounts for about half the total number of publications in other clusters. In orange are the top-ranked publications, followed by light green, light blue and violet. The clusters reveal the diversity of the research conducted by HMRI members, and help to identify –for example-- emerging areas of high quality research.
This type of analysis was developed by CIBM computer science researchers affiliated to the HMRI to uncover significant associations between genes, proteins or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the study of complex diseases.
Clusters are created by the MST-kNN algorithm developed at the CIBM and exported in graphic format. Later processing involves the open source tools yEd and GIMP.
Dr Carlos Riveros and Prof Pablo Moscato presenting "research dandelions" at the HMRI Through the Lens 2010 photography exhibition (at the John Hunter Hospital, NSW, Australia).