The vision of the SerenA project is to transform research processes by proactively creating surprising connection opportunities. We will deliver novel technologies, methods and evaluation techniques for supporting serendipitous interactions in the research arena.
Lancaster University’s role in SerenA is to develop new social media analytic algorithms that mine Twitter data for users’ interests and then connect users ‘serendipitously’ by matching their interests based on an analysis of the language they use. We have implemented a prototype Twitter recommender system, which uses natural language processing (NLP) to suggest new connections from a variety of spheres of influence. We work closely with the rest of the team, including artists and designers, to ensure that the recommendations are presented in an interesting visual way.