Subjective data models in bioinformatics: Do wet-lab and computational biologists comprehend data differently?

by   Yo Yehudi, et al.

Biological science produces large amounts of data in a variety of formats, which necessitates the use of computational tools to process, integrate, analyse, and glean insights from the data. Researchers who use computational biology tools range from those who use computers primarily for communication and data lookup, to those who write complex software programs in order to analyse data or make it easier for others to do so. This research examines how people differ in how they conceptualise the same data, for which we coin the term "subjective data models". We interviewed 22 people with biological experience and varied levels of computational experience to elicit their perceptions of the same subset of biological data entities. The results suggest that many people had fluid subjective data models that would change depending on the circumstance or tool they were using. Surprisingly, results generally did not seem to cluster around a participant's computational experience/education levels, or the lack thereof. We further found that people did not consistently map entities from an abstract data model to the same identifiers in real-world files, and found that certain data identifier formats were easier for participants to infer meaning from than others. Real-world implications of these findings suggests that 1) software engineers should design interfaces for task performance and emulate other related popular user interfaces, rather than targeting a person's professional background; 2) when insufficient context is provided, people may guess what data means, whether or not their guesses are correct, emphasising the importance of providing contextual metadata when preparing data for re-use by other, to remove the need for potentially erroneous guesswork.


page 1

page 13


Performing Creativity With Computational Tools

The introduction of new tools in people's workflow has always been promo...

GUIComp: A GUI Design Assistant with Real-Time, Multi-Faceted Feedback

Users may face challenges while designing graphical user interfaces, due...

Definition and Implications of the Digital Near-Death Experience: A Theoretical Essay on Preliminary Empiricism

Purpose: People are increasingly adhering to social networking platforms...

What Is It Like to Be a Brain Simulation?

We frame the question of what kind of subjective experience a brain simu...

Lived Experience Matters: Automatic Detection of Stigma toward People Who Use Substances on Social Media

Stigma toward people who use substances (PWUS) is a leading barrier to s...

Evaluating Effects of Background Stories on Graph Perception

A graph is an abstract model that represents relations among entities, f...

On the Use/Misuse of the Term 'Phoneme'

The term 'phoneme' lies at the heart of speech science and technology, a...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset