NOMAD - Research in text analysis for policy making

University of Aegean and Google in a new research project

The NOMAD project “Policy Formulation and Validation through non-Moderated Crowdsourcing” is an FP7 project started January 2012, aiming to stimulate significant progress in the domain of ICT-enabled policy making.  NOMAD aims to assist policy makers, organizations and citizens to compose and validate new policy through analyzing information available in the cloud.  NOMAD uses intelligent text acquisition and processing tools, new visualization methods and an overall collaborative framework, going beyond the currently available platforms and services.

The NOMAD consortium, lead by the Information Systems Laboratory of the information and Communications systems department of the University of Aegean, comprises Google, Fraunhofer IGD, Athens Technology Centre, NCSR Demokritos, Critical Publics, Qwentes and the Greek and Austrian parliaments as final users.

In today’s public internet, where collaboration and crowdsourcing are becoming realities, NOMAD will use novel methods to analyse internet data, giving insight to information at multiple stages of the policy-life cycle, thus supporting the definition of the political agenda, the creation, the implementation and the monitoring of policy proposals.

With NOMAD developments, modern politicians could test, detect and understand how citizens perceive their own political agendas, and also stimulate the emergence of discussions and contributions on the informal web (e.g. forums, social networks, blogs, newsgroups and wikis), so as to gather useful feedback for immediate action. In this way, politicians can create a stable feedback loop between information gathered on the Web and the definition of their political agendas based on this contribution. The ability to leverage the vast amount of user-generated content for supporting governments in their political decisions requires new ICT tools that will be able to analyze and classify the opinions expressed on the informal Web, or stimulate responses, as well as to put data from sources as diverse as blogs, online opinion polls and government reports to an effective use.

To this end, NOMAD aims to introduce these different new dimensions into the experience of policy making by providing decision-makers with fully automated solutions for content search, selection, acquisition, categorisation and visualisation that work in a collaborative form in the policy-making arena.

The NOMAD team in Athens, February 2012