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Process representation

Process representation

Process representation

(OP)
This is not really a question about words as such (though I'd like to know the name of something), but I do think it is about making an impression.

Have a look here:
http://xkcd.com/657/

You may or may not find the joke funny, but click on one of the panels (e.g. the LOTR panel) and have a look at how the storyline is represented.

It seems to me there is some scope for using this method in a more technical capacity - maybe a novel way of roughly sketching out something like a project plan, or a means to convey information in a presentation or a description of dataflow in a program.  I don't really know what exactly - it just seemed that it ought to be useful for something.

So, two questions:
1  Does anyone know what this technique is called (assuming it has a name)?  In the cartoon, it is headed "Movie Narrative Charts", but the only references I found on Google to that term all seemed to refer to the link above.  I'm wondering if there is a more general term.

2  Has anyone ever seen it used in a different way - e.g. for a more work-related purpose?  Or can you suggest such a usage?

Tony

RE: Process representation

It's a type of flowchart, and there are similar devices used in business, specifically systems analysis and project management.  Among them are process flow diagrams (PFD), data flow diagrams, Pert charts, and Gant charts.

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RE: Process representation

(OP)
Thanks for the response chaps.  Yes, you are right, it does look like several charts with which I'm familiar (though I hadn't come across the brain diagram DrBob mentioned per se).  I think it looks most like a hardware disposition plan - i.e. a listing of which hardware items will be received when, and where they will be used in a project - but it is not exactly the same.

From doing a bit more Googling, it seems that it pretty much originated in the link I posted, so I suppose that "Movie Narrative Chart" IS the name.  

I was just struck by how neatly it displayed the major events and interactions in the story, and what the characters were doing when not part of the main "action".  It seemed to me that, although it was similar, it was nevertheless sufficiently different from the diagrams mentioned in your posts that it might make a useful contribution to my toolbox for handling or protraying some kinds of data.  As such, I was wondering if there existed a good technical description of the technique anywhere, along with guidelines on possible uses, pitfalls to avoid etc.  In searching for said info, I thought a proper name for the technique might be helpful - hence the questions.

However, if it really was invented for that cartoon, then I don't suppose such analyses, commentaries or user-guides exist.  I guess I'll just bear it in mind and use it if I ever come across a suitable oportunity.

Tony

RE: Process representation

Have you tried emailing them?  I hear they are very proactive when answering intelligent questions but I cant say I have actually emailed to verify.....

"You don't know what you got, till its gone..
80's hair band Cinderella or ode to data backups???"

RE: Process representation

Seems to be a variant of a Synchronoptic chart or timeline.

 

RE: Process representation

(OP)
mintjulep - Yes it does.  It seems, in fact, to be a variant of lots of charts, but not quite like any I know.  For example, in all of the examples of synchronoptic charts I've found online, there is no vertical movement of an entity to show variations in association.  In contrast, the charts I linked clearly do exhibit this behaviour.

I think DrB's idea is a good one.  I'll drop them a line later when I have a chance to compose something suitable.

Tony

RE: Process representation

(OP)
OK, so I've dropped them a line.  If I hear any more I'll let you know.

Tony

RE: Process representation

Looks like a London Tube map winky smile

ACSS - SME
General Geek



RE: Process representation

(OP)
Maybe that explains why my life feels like its going round the Circle Line.

Tony

RE: Process representation

Never mind that Tony, it's when you end up at Cockfosters at 1:30am on a Sunday morning that you should start to worry!

The internet - allowing those who don't know what they're talking about to have their say.

RE: Process representation

(OP)
Mornington Crescent!

(too soon?)

Tony

RE: Process representation

the circle line isn't any more

Computers are like Air conditioners:-
Both stop working when you open Windows

RE: Process representation

(OP)
I thought it was still there - it just doesn't loop continuously anymore.  


Tony

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