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With the help of my friend I have discovered the whole submanifold of people, writing on the stuff I am currently interested. The topic being geodesic PCA (or PGA). I was going through all the references from our groups (Johns Hopkins, Utah, Paris etc groups) and digging. Then a friend forwarded me a paper, which uncovered the whole trove of papers that I haven’t discovered yet. There is a lot of mutual linking in that new submanifold, but very few links cross over to the subset of papers I was reading initially. Hence the difficulty in finding.

Of course, a google scholar search of “PGA” would have revealed them eventually. And in retrospect one can say “aha! here is the reference! how did you miss it?” But I guess before the AI is invented one has to carefully parse through all possible links on the topic. We are lucky to have google. It is difficult to imagine how one would search for an article before all the digitization.

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I have encountered a very nice way of referencing in one paper. Along with the usual way of citing a paper in the body of the article there is a back reference. In the bibliography after each paper there is a page number where this paper has been mentioned. I find it very sexy.

The thing that annoys me with references is that one cannot see the reference right next to the place where the author is mentioning it. While reading on a computer this issue could be solved: you click on the references, jump to the bibliography, and then can get back through the “back” button. This approach is still buggy though. But when one reads a physical print-out there is no ‘back’ button, it is very inconvenient to jump back and forth. When somebody will come up with the solution to this, she/he will earn my most eternal gratefulness.

P.S. I keep telling myself I should post more often here. We’ll see.