I participated on a fascinating panel yesterday at the (still ongoing and live-streamed) nucl.ai 2015 conference. One question asked by Richard Kogelnig, the moderator, was why have new input devices like Kinect and Leap Motion have failed to really penetrate the consumer market, and what sort of a device would really have a chance at making a difference.
I don’t think it’s a technical problem. I think it’s a message problem.
A recurrent question about UnitySteer is how to implement behavior like that of a flock of starlings (seems that Mr. Reynolds was right on the money when he chose flocking for his paper).
Usually the person who writes mentions that their implementation is “getting there”, but they’re not quite happy with the result yet. The main issue with the question is that if the results are right or not are all about perception - it’s not a problem where there is a single, provably optimal solution.
With that in mind, I’ll detail some of the aspects of the starlings from the video above, and mention how you can mimic them in UnitySteer.
Tropology is an experiment in visualizing conceptual networks from TVTropes. The initial idea was that, starting from a chosen concept, we could visualize the list of tropes and articles it referenced, along with the relationships between them.
Experimenting with the data, which even after some judicious pruning includes over 220 thousand nodes and 11 million relationships, led me to quickly conclude that the model was too widely connected. We couldn’t just visualize the raw data and needed to apply some sort of direction in order to make the visualizations sensible.
The long and short of it is that I was initially attacking the import process as one would on a JDBC client for a relational database. Query for these values here, create those if some don’t exist, insert relationships here, etc.
This is the first part of a series of articles on a small experiment I’m building. The intent is to crawl TVTropes, to find possible relationships between tropes and the material they appear in, as well as shared concepts.
I want to be able to not only visualize a concept and the tropes that it links to, but also how they relate to each other. A bonus would be being able to query how far away a concept is from another - for instance, how many steps we need to take before we can go from Cowboy Bebop to Macross Missile Massacre.
This one bit me a bit hard and, seeing as I could find only one reference for it in the context of Clojure and Leiningen, I thought a small write-up would help.
After including some ClojureScript code on my project, lein started barfing when I attempted to build an uberjar with any optimization settings other than none.
Exception in thread “main” java.lang.NoSuchMethodError: com.google.common.io.ByteStreams.limit(Ljava/io/InputStream;J)Ljava/io/InputStream;, compiling:(/private/var/folders/64/ckdtdxm14059n9wh8rhf1mvw0000gn/T/form-init527739448955044836.clj:1:123)
There was only one obscure reference I found, from an IRC chat now a couple of years old. My first thought was that something in the ClojureScript code was throwing off the compiler, but it seemed odd that this would trigger a call to a specific non-existent method.
Other searches - outside of the lein context - made me realize it was actually a dependency conflict, and only triggered on uberjar because since there wasn’t any ClojureScript code deployed before the compiler hadn’t had to be invoked.
lein deps :tree
showed there were multiple versions of com.google.guava being referenced, with the one used by ClojureScript being 18.0 but a much older 11.0.1 being referenced by urly. Seems like lein either doesn’t realize there’s a conflict or defaults to the older library, which was causing the error when ClojureScript attempted to build.
DECEMBER 2015 UPDATE: I’ve run some tests with the latest ClojureScript and made some minor changes to the code, which significantly improved performance. Read this post for updated numbers. Keeping this post around for archival reasons.
The set up
This whole thing started not as a performance test, but as me experimenting with ClojureScript and Quil while reading Matt Pearson’s Generative Art. As such, it is not the most scientific of comparisons, and instead born out of my notes when exploring how to do sketches with ClojureScript for the web.