I spent the beginning of this month visiting my colleague Atsushi Shimojima at Doshisha University just outside of Kyoto, Japan.
We worked intensively on a journal paper that we are writing together (well, truthfully, Atsushi is doing most of the work). Atsushi has written extensively about cognitive affordances allowed by many diagrammatic representations, most recently in his book. In this paper we will describe these affordances -- things like free-rides -- in formal terms using our channel theory framework. Then we will show conditions under which Single Feature Indicator Systems enjoy these properties.
This work continues in the vein of work in generic approaches to representation which we started in our paper in the upcoming Diagrams 2016 conference. In that paper, the formal properties we considered were to do with inference and semantic consequence.
It was a productive visit -- my first to Japan -- and very enjoyable. We're hoping to have a draft of the paper available in a couple of months.