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COGS MoStaCon page started on: 02May2000; last modified on: 19Mar2001

Radu Luchian(ov): Current Projects:

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First-time users, click here

There's more to read if you click the text on any of the colored tabs (above):

  • About: general description of MoStaCon, plus list of features
  • Console: controls the MOnitor window (this is where you start using MoStaCon)
  • FAQ: frequently asked questions about MoStaCon, implementation, installing, etc.
  • Downloads: the place to go if you want to use MoStaCon on your own computer
  • Version: version history and planned features


    About Console FAQ Downloads Version Legalese

    About MonDoc

    This is a presentation of MonDoc embedded in an early version of MoStaCon (see below). That version was the basis of the first formal study I ran for testing the usability of both applications. Since MonDoc is simply a set of priciples, which I hope are applicable for a wide array of purposes (), I had to implement it in an application. At the time of the implementation, I was working as research assistant in the Psycholinguistics Lab of the New Bulgarian University (Sofia, BG), so I chose an application which suited my work there. As it turned out, both projects turned out to be very large, so until now, almost a year later, I still have only alpha versions of both of them. So I keep updating them - so simple to do under MonDoc. If you just want to see the presentation of the study I made, click on: start the presentation.
    Otherwise, read on :)
    Note: if you click twice on any of the tabs above (Console, FAQ, Downloads, Version, Legalese), it will collapse the text; to see it again, click again on any tab.

    About MoStaCon

    [feature list]

    If you're interested in using MoStaCon or developing around it, you may subscribe to my link outsupport list. There you can ask questions, check FAQ files, etc.

    Have you ever run an experiment? Any sort of experiment, something in which you gather data on the behavior of some system in order to build a theory or check the validity of an existing one. If you have, you must have reached a moment when you had to do something to the data which involved tedious and repetitive operations: coding, recoding, sorting, sampling, filtering, swapping variables, modifying values, etc. Most of the time some assistant (student and/or employee) winds up doing the 'dirty work'.

    That's when MoStaCon can help. It allows you to summarize in a formal way the operations you have to perform on the data, then it takes your raw data and does those operations quickly and without the error involved in human handling. If the paradigm under which you're researching is already programmed into MoStaCon, the system walks you through the process of designing your experiment, formatting the data, calculating statistics and it warns you of data entry or design errors or of attempts to use wrong data types; it even answers your final experimental questions. Currently, I implemented paradigms I met while studying Cognitive Science (that's where the name COGS MoStaCon comes from), and I am optimizing the MOnitor for use in the Experimental Lab of the Center for Cognitive Science at the New Bulgarian University.

    System Architecture

    The architecture of the system is layered: with the interface (the MOnitor), you:

  • learn about your task,
  • gather necessary information, and prepare filters for data analysis, all in Web browser windows;
  • run the created filters on any perl interpreter;
  • the interface continues to help you prepare your presentation and store the resulting data.

    The MOnitor is an application of MonDoc, another project of mine which simplifies hypertext document creation and presentation.

    Every layer is modular, so if you don't find the description, procedure or the filter you need, you can ask a programmer who knows perl and/or javaScript to add it, or you can send me a message explaining what you need, and if I have the time, I may implement it myself. In case you extend the system, it would be nice to send me a copy of the extension so I can put it here for everyone's use.

    If you find something that doesn't work as it is supposed to, please drop me a line (e-mail radu@monicsoft.net.)

    Main feature: reusability

    (code once, use forever): The main goal for which I designed MoStaCon and the first level of its underlying architecture (MonDoc, StaCon) was to reduce and automatize repeated work. Research involves lots of iterations of the same procedure, sometimes in recursive manner. Once these processes spelled out and organized, you may find errors, omissions or redundant operations which add tremendously to research time. MoStaCon helps eliminate these and gives you a tool to speed up training of lab assistants.

    COGS MoStaCon features-at-a-glance

  • experiment design tutorial for the fields summed under Cognitive Science
  • quick experiment design sidekick (keeps track of information)
  • text-based data formating
  • transparent basic and medium-level statistics
  • built-in debugging mechanisms
  • FREE for everyone to use

    MonDoc features-at-a-glance

  • a whole web area in one file (less disk clutter, less slack)
  • removes large amounts of processing load from the server and puts it at the client side, where it belongs
  • the best SECURITY you can have (provided by your browser)
  • hassle-free DHTML editing (for beginners, medium and advanced users, with built-in tag library editor)
  • pop-up glossary definitions and reference details
  • context preservation with consistent page structure
  • use replacement bits to avoid retyping same thing several times, organize the document and save disk space
  • context-dependent help, integrated in the document
  • easy document modification
  • FREE for everyone to use


    In exchange for all these features, MoStaCon inherits the tradeoffs made by MonDoc.
    You will:
  • have to work only with Internet Explorer v5 or better (for now, during development; later on I'll try to add support for other browsers)
  • have to use the Flash4 plugin (install it, if you don't have it yet; this is more of a positive feature :)
  • lose some portability (not every browser supports JavaScript 1.3 and plugins)
  • wait slightly longer for a document to load (but you will not be interrupted while using it; the actual gain in time for readers of MonDoc documents is substantial)
  • have to visibly acknowledge MonDoc in the documents you create with it.
  • have to visibly acknowledge MoStaCon in any research for which you use it.
    Note: the Flash4 plugin is a small piece of software written and distributed by link outMacromedia, Inc., which allows a plugin-compatible (or Java-enhanced) browser to display animations created in Macromedia Flash.