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Discussion forums could benefit from an exploratory search capability. The large quantity of information on discussion forums can present an opportunity for helping a user through visualization. Self organizing maps have been successfully used as a basis for visualizing high-dimensional data. The Forum Map prototype, created as an entry into the 2008 SIOC data competition, uses a self organizing map to lay out the "Member-space" of a discussion forum. A self organizing map can be used to create an overview of the forum, and an innovative interface can connect this visualization to the content of forum postings through labels and user interaction.
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