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Dataflow

Dataflow, as used in the context of these projects, is a framework for designing, building, interacting and using media applications. It is also a “a software architecture based on the idea that changing the value of a variable should automatically force recalculation of the values of variables which depend on its value.” (Wikipedia: Dataflow) It is built on nodes that produce data streams from inputs, nodes that transform data streams (programs, algorithms, APIs, libraries) and nodes that consume and render output. Each instantiation of dataflow is organized according to a graph, a visual representation that show the different nodes and the connexions between them. The relationship between the program and the graph “models a program as a directed graph of the data flowing between operations” (Wikipedia: Dataflow Programming).

Dataflow as a model of information processing is conceptually and physically based on data flowing between operations according to a functional diagram. Dataflow promotes the information in the system as its main component. This enables perhaps the most important feat of the technical framework : real-time message handling -feedback loops- Within interconnected environments, we will be generating data in the physical world that will simultaneously interface with any one of multiple environments (inworld, online, real world).

The multimedia programming environment, Pure Data initially oriented our work toward Dataflow as a creative paradigm. Recently, our work has incorporated Grasshopper, a dataflow-like interface for generative 3-D modeling software, Rhino3D.



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