University of St.Gallen
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Vocabulary Patterns in Free-for-all Collaborative Indexing Systems

abstract In collaborative indexing systems users generate a big amount of metadata by labelling web-based content. These labels are known as tags and form a shared vocabulary. In order to understand the characteristics of that vocabulary, we study structural patterns of these tags by implying the theory of self-organizing systems. Therefore, we utilize the graph theoretic notion to model the network of tags and their valued connections, which represent frequency rates of co-occurring tags. Empirical data is provided by the free-for-all collaborative indexing systems Delicious, Connotea and CiteULike. First, we measure the frequency distribution of co-occurring tags. Secondly, we correlate these tags towards their rank over time. Results indicate a strong relationship among a few tags as well as a notable persistence of these tags over time. Therefore, we make the educated guess that the observed collaborative indexing systems are self-organizing systems towards a shared vocabulary building. Implications on the results are the presence of semantic domains based on high frequency rates of co-occurring tags, which reflect topics of interest among the user community. When observing those semantic domains over time, that information can be used to provide a historical or trend-setting development of the community’s interests, thus enhancing collaborative indexing systems in general as well as providing a new tool to develop community-based products and services at the same time.
   
type conference paper (English)
   
keywords Metadata, tagging, shared vocabulary, online community,
collaborative software, self-organizing system
   
name of conference International Workshop on Emergent Semantics and Ontology Evolution (ESOE 2007) at the 6th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2007) (Busan, Korea)
date of conference 12-11-2007
title of proceedings Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Emergent Semantics and Ontology Evolution, ESOE 2007, co-located with ISWC 2007 + ASWC 2007 (Liming Chen, Philippe Cudré-Mauroux, Peter Haase, Andreas Hotho, Ernie Ong eds.)
page(s) 45-57
publisher CEUR-WS.org
review double-blind review
   
citation Maass, W., Kowatsch, T., & Münster, T. (2007). Vocabulary Patterns in Free-for-all Collaborative Indexing Systems. In Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Emergent Semantics and Ontology Evolution, ESOE 2007, co-located with ISWC 2007 + ASWC 2007 (Liming Chen, Philippe Cudré-Mauroux, Peter Haase, Andreas Hotho, Ernie Ong eds.), pp.45-57: CEUR-WS.org.