Knowledge organization systems are evolving complex systems. While analyzing the representation systems of knowledge, the Knowledge Space Lab project contributed to the new area of “maps of science”.
The project developed an innovative research line addressing the difference between representing scholarly knowledge in “external” classifications systems (such as thesauri, ontologies, bibliographic systems) and “internal” representations based on data and user-tagging (such as network analysis, user annotations/tagging, folksonomies).
The aim of the project was to explore how different visual representations can contribute to a better understanding of knowledge dynamics. The project addressed the relationship between dynamic processes in knowledge systems and the dynamics of a reference system in which these processes are analyzed.
Knowledge Space Lab used Wikipedia and UDC datasets to compare two distinctly different classification systems, crowd-sourced, user annotated classification versus expert based, and strictly controlled classification system.
The differences between these two Knowledge Orders are apparent in our visualization Design vs. Emergence, Visualization of Knowledge Orders showcased in the 7th Iteration (2011): Science Maps as Visual Interfaces to Digital Libraries of Places & Spaces Exhibition/Project. We continued our work on the analysis of these classification systems individually as well, and published numerous studies on their evaluation.
We have developed a mixed research method strategy that was applied to the analysis of the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) by combining web-based data collection with data and visual analyses. By evaluating the population dynamics of the UDC, we have seen ample evidence of the cultural evolution of knowledge across time. While this approach to research is important for knowledge organization as such, it also bears potential for information providers to use visualizations to showcase their collections.
2016. Knowledge Maps of the UDC: Uses and Use Cases. A. Scharnhorst, R. P. Smiraglia, C. Guéret, A. A. Akdag Salah. Knowledge Organization, 43(8), 641-654.
2012. Evolution of Wikipedia’s Category Structure. K. Suchecki, A. A. Akdag Salah, C. Gao, A. Scharnhorst. Advances in Complex Systems, 15 (Supplement 1).
2012. The Need to Categorize: A Comparative Look at Categorization in Wikipedia and the Universal Decimal Classification System. A.A. Akdag Salah, C. Gao, K. Suchecki, A. Scharnhorst, Leonardo, 43(4).
2012. The evolution of classification systems: Ontogeny of the UDC. R. Smilagria, A.A. Akdag Salah, C. Gao, K. Suchecki, A. Scharnhorst. ISKO 2012.
2011. Visualizing Universes of Knowledge, Design and Visual Analysis of the UDC. C. v.d. Heuvel, A.A. Akdag Salah, C. Gao, K. Suchecki, A. Scharnhorst. Classification & Ontology.
2010. The Need to Categorize: A Comparative Look at Categorization in Wikipedia and the Universal Decimal Classification System. A.A. Akdag Salah, C. Gao, K. Suchecki, A. Scharnhorst. Satellite Meeting at ECCS.