The Project Mission
The main objective of the Aging Model is not to classify phenomena but to reveal their cause-and-effect relations. Aging is an objective phenomenon caused by certain mechanisms. Our task is to understand these mechanisms. So the main part of HASD is the scientific methodology,
The Diagram will reflect the aging process and not all processes occuring in the human organism. We describe only the events that are causing aging. There are positive feedback links (accelerating the aging process), as well as negative feedback links (slowing it down). They will be added as auxiliary links among the elements of the basic process. Feedback visualisation will be considered primarily at the later stages of the project.
The Diagram should not include species aging, as this is a problem of evolution and not of gerontology. Age-dependant pathologies should be presented only if they are caused by the aging propcess itself.
Specific cases should not be considered in the Diagram, only statistically average data is included.
Requirements for the final scheme
1) Naming of the blocks should be clear and expressed in the "X happens" form
2) Blocks and links between them should have the coloring according to the legend
3) There shouldn't be blocks without causes or effects, except for the original causes or "death" block
4) Causes for the block or the area should be located higher
5) Effects of the block or the area should be located lower
6) There shouldn't be questioned blocks, all doubts must be clarified
7) Areas without proper scientific exploration or without scientific consensus should be marked according to the legend
Why have we chosen the form of a diagram? Because human brain perceives a diagram, as well as any other visual information much better than linear text.
The Diagram makes it possible to demonstrate complex phenomena like aging, in a very concise and demonstrative way. Looking at the Diagram, even nonspecialists can understand the essence of the process, which is not the case with multivolume monographs.
Precise wording allows to prevent misunderstanding.
The Diagram is oriented to a wide range of specialists, that is why the ease of perception is of vital importance. In order to provide a maximum ease of perception we will involve best experts in the field of information visualization.
We suppose that the whole aging process can be presented by 100-600 blocks. The Diagram will be large but still intelligible. Moreover, it can be subdivided into several diagrams still preserving its integrity. We can and will also develop aging giagrams with different level of detalisation.