Subject Book is the implementation of a new perspective in data-driven research involving human subjects. This perspective is anchored on the following belief system:
- The data should be curated the moment they are gathered through well-tested automated processes.
- The data should be visualized in a manner that reveals their structural and functional roles in a study.
- The data should be linked to pre-planned tests that can be run as soon as the specification quotas are fulfilled.
Regarding the first belief, Subject Book, introduces the notion and practice of catholic instant curation for all types of data; this includes both subject input and sensor data. Regarding the second belief, Subject Book introduces the concept of hierarchical visualization that mirrors the abstraction levels in human research - treatment level; subject level; study level. The third belief, urges the researcher to give careful consideration to the goals of her/his study, fleshing out the hypotheses in support of pre-planned tests rather than post-hoc 'fishing expeditions'.
Subject Book consists of three software modules: (a) Interface to the subjects/experimenters. (b) Middleware. (c) Interface to sensors.
The interface to subjects and experimenters has been implemented as a mobile interface ( M-Interface
). Currently, the M-Interface is available as an iPad app. The middleware, which is the main engine of Subject Book, is implemented in Java Script and communicates with a data storage, which by default is a Google Drive. The Java Script implementation ensures a platform independent architecture, while Google Drive renders data storage ubiquitous and economical. Both implementation choices support Subject Book's broad reach. The sensor interface has been implemented as a communal software development platform in C# through plug-ins (S-Interface
). The choice of C# ensures efficient construction of device drivers via the .NET environment. The plug-in nature of the S-Inteface, ensures communal enrichment and enhancement of the platform, so that more sensors can be easily added to the ecosystem.
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