During an identification session you may have an Entity in mind that the should ‘key out’, however the key discards the Entity. In this event you can use the ‘Why Discarded’ feature available on the main toolbar, or by right clicking on the discarded Entity within the Entities Discarded panel to show the context pop-up menu with the Why Discarded menu option. This will open the Why Discarded dialog and show which of your selected features didn’t match the Entity and caused it to be discarded.
Right clicking on an Entity row within the Entities Remaining or Discarded panel will open a context pop-up menu. The options available depend on the Entity clicked on.
Open Entity Images (available in Remaining and Discarded panels)
Opens the images associated with the Entity in the Lucid Player’s image gallery viewer. See the Multimedia in the Lucid Player for more information.
Open Entity Fact Sheet (available in Remaining and Discarded panels)
Opens the fact sheet associated with the Entity in a new tab of your web browser. See the Multimedia in the Lucid Player for more information.
Differences (available in Remaining panel only)
Opens the Differences dialog to compare the Entities in the Remaining panel.
Manual Discard Entity (available in Remaining panel only)
Discards the selected Entity to the Discarded Panel. A Manually Discarded Entity will be highlighted by it’s red text color.
Restore Discarded Entity (available in Discarded panel only)
Restores a Manually Discarded Entity back to the Entities Remaining panel, if it hasn’t been also discarded by the current Feature selections.
Why Discarded (available in Discarded panel only)
Opens the Why Discarded dialog, which shows why the selected Entity was discarded. I.e. Which Feature(s) didn’t match for the selected Entity.
Restarting a key
At the end of an identification click the Restart button to reset the key for another identification. All features will be unchecked and the Features Chosen and Entities Discarded windows will be emptied.
If the subset option ‘Retain selected subsets on key restart?’ is unchecked, the Player will be restarted using the selected subset defined by the key author. If this option is checked, the key will restart using the current feature and entity subsets.
When Features or Entities are arranged in hierarchical trees the open nodes can closed (collapsed) using the Collapse button. See Expanding and Collapsing tree items.
When Features or Entities are arranged in hierarchical trees the closed nodes can opened (expanded) using the Expand button. See Expanding and Collapsing tree items.
Find Features, States or Entities using the Search button. The search function operates within the selected panel (Features Available, Features Selected, Entities Remaining or Entities Discarded). See the Finding Features, States and Entities help topic.
Toggle Feature Thumbnails
Show or hide the Feature and State thumbnails within the Features Available and Features Selected panels.
Toggle Entity Thumbnails
Show or hide Entity thumbnails within the Entities Remaining and Entities Discarded panels.
Filter the key with Subsets provided by the key author. Subsets can be for Features or Entities. Use them in any combination you prefer.
Find the ‘Best‘ Feature to choose at any point in the identification. If you can’t answer the recommended ‘Best’ Feature, click again to find the next ‘Best’ Feature to answer. Using the Best option is the fastest way through the key to arrive at an identification. The ‘Best’ feature is recalculated after each choice you make.
Remove any Features and/or States that no longer have an impact on the Entities Remaining list. For example, the remaining Entities may all be scored the same for a give Feature. Choosing from this Feature wouldn’t differentiate between the Entities. Pruning redundant Features optimises your use of the key. See the Prune Redundants help topic for more information.
Compare the differences between remaining Entities. The Differences function will help you determine an identification between closely related Entities.
Quickly find powerful Features, based on the Entities Remaining, that when selected may reduce the possible Entities to a single item or just a few. If you can’t answer the recommended ‘Shortcut’ feature, click again for the next most powerful Feature. See the Shortcuts help topic for additional information.
Determine why an Entity was discarded. See the Why Discarded help topic for more information.
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Keeping subsets on restart
By default, if you have chosen one or more Subsets during an identification and you click the Restart button, the subsets will be retained when the key is restarted. If instead you would like any Subsets to be reset (so the key is restarted using all features and entities), un-check the Retain selected subsets on restart option.
In Lucid keys, some entities may be scored as having a Feature by misinterpretation. For example, some groups of wasps are distinctive in having a strikingly narrowed section or “waist” between the thorax and abdomen, while in other groups of wasps and in most other insects there is no such narrowing. However, some members of the “waisted” wasps, such as the common honeybee, have a very short waist that is almost hidden by the other body segments and is easily overlooked.
If a key to wasps has a Feature Waist present/absent, there is a danger that the waist on a honeybee would be overlooked by a user who would incorrectly describe their specimen as not having a waste. This could result in a mis-identification.
To prevent such errors, the key’s author will score the honeybee as Waist present (true) and Waist absent (by misinterpretation). The Lucid Player treats the by misinterpretation score as though it were a true score, so the honeybee will be retained in Entities Remaining, even if the waist is overlooked.
However, another user – who is more experienced in identification – may wish to have such misinterpretations ignored and to only see a list of all wasps that truly lack a waist. In this case, the honeybee should be removed from Entities Remaining.
The Lucid Player allows users to select these different modes of operation through the Allow Misinterpretations button on the main toolbar. With Allow Misinterpretations toggled on (the default behaviour), Entities scored for a State using the by misinterpretation score will remain in Entities Remaining when the state is selected; with Allow Misinterpretations turned off, such Entities will be discarded.
Entities remaining in the Entities Remaining list due to misinterpretation may be colored red (default) (commonly mistinterpreted) or orange (default) (rarely misinterpreted). The colors may differ if the key’s author has customised them.
In Lucid keys, some Entities may be scored as Uncertain for some States. For example, a key to plants may include features concerning fruits, but some rare species may never have been observed at the fruiting stage when the key was being built. In this case the builder of the key would score fruit features and states for such Entities as Uncertain.
In normal identifications, it is important for the Lucid Player to treat Entities scored as uncertain for a State in the same way as Entities scored present for the State. Using the example above, a user of the key may have a specimen of the rare species that does have fruits, and hence may be able to address the fruit features. In such a case, the species should remain in Entities Remaining even though the key author could not properly score the fruit features.
However, another user may wish to have such uncertain scores ignored and to only see a list of all species that are known to have fruits of a particular shape or colour. In this case, the species with unknown fruits should be removed from Entities Remaining.
The Lucid Player allows users to select these different modes of operation through the Retain Uncertains option. With Retain Uncertains checked (the default behaviour), entities scored for a state using the uncertain score will remain in Entities Remaining when the state is selected; with Retain Uncertains turned off, such entities will be discarded.
Lucid matches Entities against selected Features to determine which Entities match and which do not.
Two options, can be set by the key author to set the way the Lucid Player handles the matching.
- Using the Any State matching method, Entities will be kept in Entities Remaining if they match any chosen State of a Feature.
- Using the All States matching method, Entities will only be kept in Entities Remaining if they match all chosen States of a Feature.
To understand these modes, consider a Feature Flower colour with the following States:
Consider three Entities e1, e2 and e3 that have been scored by the key’s author as follows: e1 has been scored for blue only, e2 has been scored for yellow only, while e3 has been scored for both blue and yellow.
Using the Any State match method in the Player and choosing the state blue, e1 and e3 will remain in Entities Remaining (since both are scored as having blue flowers) while e2 will be moved to Entities Discarded. If you choose instead the State yellow, e2 and e3 will remain in Entities Remaining while e1 will be moved to Entities Discarded. Finally, if you choose both States blue and yellow, all three Entities will remain in Entities Remaining (that is, the Player is returning all Entities scored for either blue or yellow)
By contrast, using the All States match method and choosing the state blue, only e1 will remain in Entities Remaining (since only it is scored for only blue) and e2 and e3 will be moved to Entities Discarded. If you choose instead the State yellow, only e2 will remain in Entities Remaining while e1 and e3 will be moved to Entities Discarded. Finally, if you choose both States blue and yellow, only e3 will remain in Entities Remaining while e1 and e2 will be moved to Entities Discarded (that is, the Player is returning only entities scored for both blue and yellow).
The normal matching method for most identifications is Any State, as this allows more flexibility between the scores given by the key’s builder and the answers provided during the identification. In some circumstances, you may wish to change the mode to All States. This can be done at any time. You should be careful to understand how this method works before changing to it.
The Lucid Sorting Methods
Please note: Ranked or Sorted views are a key author set feature.
Lucid matches Entities against each selected Feature to determine which Entities match and which do not.
Two options are possible that allow the Lucid Player to vary the way it reports the results of the matching. Which option is set by the key’s author.
In a Filtered sort, Entities that do and do not match the selected Features are sorted into two lists, Entities Remaining and Entities Discarded respectively.
In a Ranked sort, all entities are listed in the Entities Remaining panel (and the Entities Discarded panel is hidden). Entities are prefixed by their percentage match to the selected Features (when using the Any State matching method) or selected states (when using the All States matching method). (For more information on the matching methods, see the topic Lucid Matching methods above)
The Entities in a Ranked sort are ranked by their percentage match value. For example, if an Entity matches all the selected Features it will have a match value of 100% and will appear in the top rank of the Entities list. If another Entity matches half the selected Features (or States) it will have a match value of 50% and will be ranked lower in the list.
Automated Best and Prune
However, you may automate these functions, so they are applied whenever a state is chosen. With these automated, after addressing each feature the Features Available list will be automatically pruned of redundant features.
To set Best and Prune Redundants to be automatically applied, check the Auto Best and Auto Prune from the Automate section of the settings page (if provided by the author).
If you need to choose several states from one feature before applying the Best and Prune functions, hold down the Control key while choosing the states. The automated functions will be paused until the control key is released.
If you wish to change the size of the text displayed with the Lucid Player, use the browsers inherent font size/page zoom feature to increase or decrease the display. For most browsers using Ctrl + [+|-] keys will perform this function.
At the end of an identification click the Restart button located on the toolbar to reset the key for another identification. All Features will be unchecked and the Features Chosen and Entities Discarded windows will be emptied.
If the Subset option ‘Retain selected subsets on key restart?’ is unchecked, the Player will be restarted using the selected Subset defined by the key author. If this option is checked, the key will restart using the current selected Feature and Entity Subsets.
Many Lucid keys provide images and web pages for Features, States and Entities, to help make an identification easier and more accurate and to provide extra information on the items in the key. For example, web pages and images attached to Features and States may help you decide which State of a Feature to choose, or provide background hints and tips on difficult features. Similarly, web pages and images attached to Entities may provide descriptions and extra information on the entities in the key, both to add to the available information and to help you choose whether an identification is correct.
By default, items in the Features and Entities panels that have images attached will be preceded by the icon, while items that have web pages attached will be preceded by the icon.
Optionally, image thumbnails can be displayed in the Features and Entities panels for items that have images attached. To display thumbnails check either or both the Feature Thumbnails or Entities Thumbnail options located on the main toolbar.
With the Image Thumbnails checked, features or entities that have images attached will be preceded by a small thumbnail of an image associated with that item.
To view a web page or image attached to an item click on its icon or thumbnail.
Suppose you have used the Player to try to identify a specimen, and at the end of the keying session several Entities remain.
One way of trying to decide which of these is correct would be to access the information (photographs & fact sheets) associated with the Entities. This may allow you to discriminate the Entities further.
A better way may be to view a list of Features that differ between the Entities. You can access such a list by clicking the Differences button on the toolbar. This will open the Differences window.
The Differences window has two panels. The upper panel lists contains a dropdown list of Features that differ (that is, are not scored the same) for the remaining entities. When you select a specific Feature, the lower panel shows how the Entities are scored for the listed Features.
Differences in the upper panel are sorted by their utility for separating the Entities, therefore it is recommended you review the differences from the top down.
Subsets are groups of Features or Entities pre-defined by the author of the key.
For example, Feature Subsets in a key to beetles may allow you to restrict Features Available to display only wing features and head features, or all simple and easily observed features. Entity Subsets may allow you to restrict the Entities panels to display only the beetles in a particular taxonomic subgroup, or only common species.
Subsets are particularly useful for keeping Features Available and the Entities panels free of unnecessary items. For example, if you have a key to plants and your specimen has no fruits, it is useful to remove all fruit features using subsets. Functions such as Best will be more useful if you restrict Features Available to show only Features that it will be possible to address.
To choose a Subset (if the key’s builder has specified subsets in the key), open the Subsets list by clicking the Subsets button on the toolbar.
If you are using subsets and need to keep the same subsets when you restart the key, make sure that the Retain selected subsets on key restart? option is checked. If this item is unchecked, subsets will be set back to show all features and entities when the key is restarted.
The Shortcuts function is similar to the Best function in that it may provide a quicker route to an identification. In Shortcuts the Player searches for Features that, if answered, would provide an immediate shortcut to an identification.
For example, consider a key to fish. After choosing a number of states, the list of Entities Remaining may have been reduced to 20 species. Some of those species may have unique features, or share a state with only one or two other species in the list. If you were to choose such a state, you would immediately shortcut to a single species or a very small number of species.
Shortcuts provides a way of finding such unique features. Find Shortcuts by clicking the View Shortcuts button on the toolbar.
A list of Shortcut Features will be opened. Scan the list for Features that match your specimen (of course, there may be no available shortcut, in which case the Shortcuts list will be empty or the specimen being identified will not match any listed feature). You may choose Shortcut Features by clicking on their score boxes in the Shortcuts dialog.
During most Lucid identification sessions, Entities will be removed from Entities Remaining to Entities Discarded as a result of the Feature States you choose. However, you may sometimes find it useful to manually remove Entities that you know well and are certain do not match your specimen. Manually removing Entities that you know cannot match will make some functions (such as Best and Prune Redundants) work more efficiently.
Entities are manually discarded by either dragging them from Entities Remaining to Entities Discarded panel head area. Or by using the right-click context pop-up menu.
Manually discarded Entities are indicated by red text. To restore manually discarded Entities, drag the manually discarded Entities back to the Entities Remaining windows. Or use the right-click context pop-up menu on the manually discarded entity. Manually discarded Entities will also be restored if the key is restarted.