Visual Thesaurus: Applet of the Week

by William Grosso

Related link:

What can I say. It's just stunningly cool. Run it. My favorite applet of all time, I think.

Right now, I'm trying to figure out: if every person is separated by at most 6 degrees from everyone else, and if every film start is separated by at most 6 "film degrees" from Kevin Bacon, is there a similar thing for words in a thesaurus?

For example: Can I reach any word in the dictionary in 12 or fewer steps from "egg" (I got from "egg" to "unimpaired" in only 5 steps. And from "egg" to "uncastrated" in only 6)?

What's your candidate for the "Kevin Bacon" of the dictionary?


2002-11-20 14:47:58
This is so very old
and still one of the best uses of the technology I have ever seen. I first saw it in 98 at the 7th annual WWW conference thingy, and I still use it for my class demonstrations.
2002-11-20 17:14:45
Solving the degrees of separation problem
The question "is any word in the dictionary reachable from any other word in the dictionary" could be solved like this:

Build a graph data structure, where each vertex is a word, and an edge is a link between the words. Then using standard graph reachability algorithms you can get all kinds of information about the words in the graph.