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My
-
Plant.org

A Phylogenetically Structured Social Network


Matthew R Hanlon

November 13, 2010

Overview


iPlant Collaborative


Social networking & Science


My
-
Plant


Usage Data


The Future


November 13, 2010

The iPlant Collaborative


A $50M NSF effort to build
CyberInfrastructure for

Grand
Challenges


in the Plant Science
Community, focused on food
production, fuel production, and
drug discovery.



Current development focus on
phylogenetics (understanding
evolutionary relationships), and
mapping genomic data to
expressed characteristics


November 13, 2010

Why iPlant at TACC?


iPlant is an examplar project for TACC moving
beyond

simply systems

.


A problem of tremendous import on science and society.


Computing and data at the center of solutions


Deep partnerships with domain experts needed for solutions



Leverages many TACC core competencies:

Scalable Algorithms

Large Data



Computing


Portals/Advanced Interfaces


Visualization


Data Integration







November 13, 2010

Social Networking & Science


November 13, 2010

My
-
Plant: A Social Network


Fills some of the spaces in between
traditional HPC portals


Connects individuals


Researchers, students, educators


Adds additional value to data


Discussions


Related data


Context



November 13, 2010


The usual suspects in
social networking features


Image gallery


File sharing


Group/private messaging


Forums


Group posts


“Colleagues”


User profiles


Searchable content

Social Networking for the Plant Sciences


November 13, 2010

Another social network?


November 13, 2010

My
-
Plant: Clades


Monophyletic
groups of organisms


The

groups


in

My
-
Plant


Self
-
managed


Aggregation points
for content



November 13, 2010

My
-
Plant: Clades


Why organize in this way?


Traditional group structure of a social network is
flat


Hierarchical social network is more than just
interest groups


More added value


Not only are users connected by common clades,
but also by related clades


Content, too, gets added value from this
relationship


November 13, 2010

iPlant Integration


Other iPlant project integration


Large Tree Viewer


Contextual interlinking


Discovery Environment (DE)


Sharing


BIEN name resolution


November 13, 2010

User
-
Directed


Millions of plant clades


Can’t include them all


Users suggest clades to add to the network


Reviewed for scientific relevance, actual interest


Clades are managed by users


November 13, 2010

Implementation Overview


Drupal CMS


Developing on the Drupal platform


Modules


Authentication


November 13, 2010

Drupal CMS


CMS Platform


Growing number of scientific sites using
Drupal and developing Drupal modules


LifeDesks.org


iPlant


Rapid, extensible, community support


November 13, 2010

Drupal Modules


Clade module


Main module driving My
-
Plant


Manages Drupal nodes as “Clades”


Workflows for adding and managing content


Javascript InfoVis Toolkit (JIT) module


Visualization toolkit


Highlight the hierarchical network in My
-
Plant


Can be extended to include other viz


user/content relationships


Clade activity



November 13, 2010


November 13, 2010

Usage Statistics


November 13, 2010

Project History


Project began late February 2010


Development started March 15


“Friendly user” release July 6


Official launch July 28


Weekend of ASPB, BSA conferences


216 users, 57 clades


November 13, 2010

Usage Statistics

The first 6 weeks…


3687 visits


74 countries


1877 unique


24647 page views


Usage Statistics

The next 8 weeks…


1204 visits


45 countries


680 unique


5907 page views


The Future of My
-
Plant


November 13, 2010

The Future of My
-
Plant


Integration with iPlant Services


Integration with other social
networks/services


Twitter, Facebook


Open source release of Drupal Modules


Social networking research


Sudha Ram, University of Arizona


November 13, 2010

Acknowledgements


PIs


Pam Soltis, Doug Soltis, Brent Mishler, Richard Olmstead,
Richard McCourt, Martin Wojciechowski


Graduate students


Lucas Majure, Adam Payton, Susan Tremblay,

Thomas Madsen


iPlant


Nirav Merchant


TACC


Michael Gonzales, Stephen Mock, Praveen Nuthulapati


November 13, 2010

Acknowledgements


TACC, University of Texas, Austin


iPlant Collaborative


NSF (#EF
-
0735191)


University of Florida


University of California, Berkeley


Arizona State University


University of Arizona


University of Washington


Academy of Natural Sciences


November 13, 2010

Fin
.


November 13, 2010