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Classification, Ontologies, Taxonomies


Few things are more imporant (and more frustrating) than organizing and classifying content, material, and resources. For example, putting together this site required a many decisions about how to organize links in pages, folders, etc. Which should be combined...which should be separated. The objective is to follow a system that others will find useful (and will make sense). Yet, often our organization strategies are derived from our intended uses (i.e. context). This drives our categorization. I placed this unit in the "Doing" section of the elearnspace site (because the requirement to organize learning objects)...yet I placed semantic web resources in the "Resources" section...because it is a technology-based application of classification. Makes sense to me...but perhaps not to the reader. That's the problem.

Classification is important...and as Google has revealed, intelligence can be added by the creator of the resource or by the mechanism seeking resources. Users of Google can attest, intelligence can be much more effective in finding things when it is not context/creator dependant.

Taxonomies, Categorization, Classification
"There are a number of applications that can help people create taxonomies and place information objects within their categories, although the amount of automation can vary. Some programs simply allow anyone to manually add a URL to a specific category by submitting a site. Others allow human catalogers to create sophisticated rules to specify certain words and phrases which will place a page in a category. Others accept a "training set" within an existing taxonomy, and will place documents in categories based on similarities. Still others attempt to automate the entire process, grouping pages into topics based on programmatic evaluation of the contents."

Faceted Metadata
" Metadata is information about information: more precisely, it's structured information about resources. This can be a single set of hierarchical subject labels, such as a Yahoo or Open Directory Project category. More often, the metadata has several facets: attributes in various orthogonal sets of categories. This is often stored in database record fields and tables, especially for product catalogs."

Interactive Information Retrieval based on Faceted Classification using Views
"This paper discusses constraints in knowledge organisation for information retrieval introduced by the difficulty of separating logical views of data, information, concepts and their relationships, from the physical means by which we seek to implement retrieval systems."

A Taxonomy Primer
"Taxonomies…thesauri…classification systems…synonym rings. We’ve heard all of these terms in the context of the Web."

"Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan (1872-1972) is one of the most influential figures in the field of library and information sciences. This paper argues that Ranganathan is a thinker ahead of his time. The fact that his ideas and his Colon Classification scheme are not well received and practised can probably be attributed to his vision being too advanced for his contemporary world of technology. Considering the progress that has been made since his times, Ranganathan's ideas deserve another investigation. Upon comparing the nature of his classification scheme with the various technologies like relational databases, online retrieval systems, or the World Wide Web, it is quite evident that Ranganathan's ideas of classification are more applicable now than before."

The Role of Classification Schemes in Internet Resource Description and Discovery
"This report investigates the use of classification schemes to aid retrieval in a network environment, specifically with regard to the Internet. The library community, over many years, had appeared to favour subject indexing systems (the use of a controlled vocabulary to assign indexing terms to documents) over the use of traditional classification schemes (grouping documents into a hierarchical structure of subject categories). During the first period of the development of networked information services, many specialists, especially those from the computing community, also questioned the value of library subject description systems in principle, pointing to the accomplishments of full-text indexing software."

"FacetMap continues to bring you innovations in faceted classification. There's a certain type of facet which almost everyone would like to use, but which no one has offered -- until now. The new Spectrum facet type allows your users to navigate numerical data, by specifying their own range of numbers instead of picking from a list of arbitrarily predefined ranges."

Ontologies Come of Age
"One now sees ontologies used as central controlled vocabularies that are integrated into catalogues, databases, web publications, knowledge management applications, etc."

Ontology 101
"Ontologies have become core components of many large applications yet the training material has not kept pace with the growing interest. This paper addresses the issues of why one would build an ontology and presents a methodology for creating ontologies based on declarative knowledge representation systems."

Ontology Building: A Survey of Tools
"As the hype of past decades fades, the current heir to the artificial intelligence legacy may well be ontologies. Evolving from semantic network notions, modern ontologies are proving quite useful."

Web Ontology Language
"The World Wide Web as it is currently constituted resembles a poorly mapped geography. Our insight into the documents and capabilities available are based on keyword searches, abetted by clever use of document connectivity and usage patterns. The sheer mass of this data is unmanageable without powerful tool support. In order to map this terrain more precisely, computational agents require machine-readable descriptions of the content and capabilities of Web accessible resources. These descriptions must be in addition to the human-readable versions of that information."

"XFML Core is an open XML format for publishing and sharing hierarchical faceted metadata and indexing efforts. XFML Core is lightweight and easy to implement, yet uniquely powerful."


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