Rama Hoetzlein (c) 2007

Quanta is conceived of as a novel database for a visual internet. Developed as a prototype in 2007, this system originally explored the notion of application-style, smooth navigational interfaces and data visualizations for semantic content on the web.


Ch 1. Introduction and Summary of Contributions
Ch 2. Background and Context
Ch 3. Integrative Strategies
Ch 4. Databases and Systems
Ch 6. Ontology and Classification
Ch 7. Knowledge Visualization


Knowledge organization is the problem of arranging and classifying what we collectively know as a society in ways that can be easily understood and communicated to others. The issues addressed in this thesis include the representation and storage of knowledge, semiotics, ontology, classification, systems for knowledge organization, and the visualization and aesthetics of knowledge systems. The Quanta software system is presented as a generic framework for the integrated storage, organization and visualization of human knowledge in interdisciplinary contexts.

Novel contributions are made to both technical and conceptual aspects of knowledge organization. Technical contributions include a hypergraph structure for the storage and efficient representation of knowledge, comparative zoomable timelines for the visualization of events in time, circle packing with dynamic loading to visualize trees, and a distributed architecture and protocol for social knowledge systems. Conceptual contributions include a new measure of meaning in data systems, the data-semantic ratio, an analysis of the relationship between the semiotic triangle and the datainformation-knowledge triangle, and motivations for knowledge visualization as a field of study.


2007, Hoetzlein, Rama. “The Organization of Human Knowledge: Systems for Interdisciplinary Research”. Masters Thesis. Media Arts and Technology Program, University of California Santa Barbara.

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1 thought on “Quanta

  1. Wow, this is really exciting. I would love to see an ontology for string theory or quantum gravity