Streamline News

Integrating Repository Function with Work Practice

Contextual tag clouds

Posted by Dawn on May 16, 2008

I had an interesting idea at the last project meeting, while we were discussing Elizabeth’s latent semantic analysis work. She came up with the idea of being able to browse semantically related items, like you do on a library shelf. The user enters a search query and the results are a group of items that are linked in the same way that books on a library bookshelf are linked. This groups the search results according to their semantic or contextual relationship rather than by ranking algorithms. It also extends the result set beyond those that contain the search term. The idea is then to present this as a visual net.

 

Anyway this got me thinking about metadata keywords (part of LOM) as being similar to tags used for describing objects or text entries on social networking applications. Tags are often represented as tag clouds (group of words), where the frequency of the tag’s use is indicated by the size or colour of the tag words. As the applications collection gets bigger the number of tags and the space used for a tag cloud does as well. This was one of the things I found visually unsatisfying with my experimental use of del.icio.us. So I was thinking this would be a good place to apply latent semantic analysis. Tags could then be weighted according to their semantic relationship and form smaller more manageable groups. How this works from the user perspective I’m not so sure yet. But I think there’s something in this so will think on.

 

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