Sylva. A Flexible Database System for the Humanities

Recent research in the field of Digital Humanities has identified several common patterns in how information is related. We have observed that topics are connected by a net of relationships that can be seen as a complex network. Complex networks, or graphs, are mathematical concepts with a group of properties that allow a deep analysis of the links between the different objects of the studied environment. Sylva is a tool developed within the CulturePlex Laboratory in order to manage complexity in a straightforward manner and allow the researcher to share the results with other colleagues. Ultimately, Sylva will provide a standard framework within the field of Digital Humanities. It is comprised of three main components: – Sylva Data: An application that stores data avoiding traditional SQL restrictions. It employs a free schema that is created by the user and that can be modified at any time with painless programming tasks. The graph-based representation used creates links that associate entities in the same way they are related in the real world. – Sylva Visualization: A collection of tools providing easy ways to query the data stored. It allows the user interact with the data and shows it in an understandable way. – Sylva Analysis: A suite of advanced tools to apply statistical and data mining processes to the information stored in the system.