David J. Cox  Explanation by Pattern  DEMONSTRATION


Main Claim
Case Study
User Comments
Other Formats
OR Complexity
New Notes
Sages Say


“Modern logic books are awash with symbols, but logic notation no more is logic than musical notation is music.”   Author’s paraphrase of a comment by KEITH DEVLIN, mathematician and writer, about mathematic symbols in  THE MATH GENE  How Mathematical Thinking Developed and Why Numbers are Like Gossip  © 2000 Keith Devlin  Basic Books  Persius Books Group UK.  p 9.

The problem addressed by FLIPP Explainers is how to make sense out of information that is complex because its parts are not connected in logical form based on ranking of value ("power")
to the user. Sentences may be grammatically acceptable but their structure – their logic patterns and therefore their meaning -- is not obvious.

This paper compares the sparse line-like form of text sentences with the abundant patterns of FLIPP Explainers. Samples of both formats are shown below and compared. In both cases, the question you are answering is, "What are all the solutions (paths or scenarios)."

The Baseline: Text. Below are complex instructions in regular sentence format (text). The upper case letters represent different pieces or chunks of information about the subject. They can be in any format – words, symbols, drawings, etc.. There are 3 sentences forming 1 paragraph with 1 starting point and 1 ending point. Only by reading and mentally restructuring (redesigning) the text, can we learn what user paths exist --  (logical arguments) like A then F then H, for example. There are 125 characters. Here we experience text’s illogical complexity.

Text Format

If you start with A, as opposed to B or C, use D or use E then G, or F. If you choose F, then use G or H or I. If you start with either B or C, use F, then use G or H or I.

The New Method: FLIPP Explainers. The diagram below contains 9 characters, 7 % of the 125 used above in the text display. We see without reading that there are 9 frames which form 11 top-to-bottom explanation paths (scenarios or arguments), with 3 starting frame choices and 4 concluding frame choices. The content and logic are the same as the text passage but clearer.  Notice that frames can overlap: The upper left frame is a member of 5 paths.  Adding up the memberships of all 9 frames, we find that the board effectively represents 32 frames.  Notice that we would see these 11 patterns even if no subject matter were shown.  Notice also that the frames are not symbols since they represent only themselves. This is a vast simplification vs. the symbols of flow charts and of Modern Symbolic Logic among other tools of representation.

FLIPP Explainers Format (Read down. Don’t cross verticals)

Explainers: Frameworks of Connection. We have looked at how the new format replaces text with simple, structured patterns of connection (logic). Subjective measures such as ease of training, learning, and improved environment are described by user comments in a later section.  Notice how the path "A then F then H" is, for example, unlike the text method.

Summary: Comparison of Conventional Text vs. The New Method

  Text FLIPP Explainers
Number of characters to be read 125 9 ( 7% of 125)
Number of scenario patterns visible by form 0 11
Starting points visible by form 1 3
Ending points visible by form 1 4
Number of frames effectively active na 32
Verbal OR connections 7 0
Backtracking due to noncontiguous paths a lot none §



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