Archive for the ‘Exercises’ Category

Hey Jude Flowchart – Post – Topic Map Challenge

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Hey Jude Flowchart from

An amusing visualization of a popular song from my youth.

As well as an opportunity for a topic map challenge!

Create a topic map of Hey Jude, using this flowchart as your starting point.

You can include other subjects but points are awarded for subjects derived from the lyrics as represented in this flowchart.

Feel free to suggest more contemporary songs if you like, but be prepared to lead the effort topic map them!

KP-Lab System: A Collaborative Environment for Design, Realization and Examination of Different Knowledge Practices

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

KP-Lab System: A Collaborative Environment for Design, Realization and Examination of Different Knowledge Practices Author(s): Ján Parali?, František Babi? Keywords: collaborative system – practices – patterns – time-line – summative information


This paper presents a collaborative working and learning environment called KP-Lab System. It provides a complex and multifunctional application built on principles of semantic web, exploiting also some web2.0 approaches as Google Apps or mashups. This system offers virtual user environment with different, necessary and advanced features for collaborative learning or working knowledge intensive activities. This paper briefly presents the whole system with special emphasis on its semantic-based aspects and analytical tools.

Public Site: (Be aware that FireFox will say this is an untrusted site as of 6 October 2010. Not sure why but I just added a security exception to access the site.)


Exploration of semantic user interfaces is in its infancy and this is another attempt to explore that space.


  1. Create account and login to public site (Organization: none)
  2. Comments on the interface?
  3. Suggestions for changes to interface?
  4. Download/install software (geeks)
  5. Create content (with other class members)
  6. Likes/dislikes managing content on basis of subject identity?

Comparing Models – Exercise

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

The Library of Congress record for Meaning and mental representations illustrates why topic maps can be different from other information resources.

The record offers a default display, but also MARCXML, MODS, DUBLINCORE formats.

Each display is unique to that format.

Exercise: Requires pencil/pen, paper, scissors, tape.

Draw 4 unfolded cubes, ;-), just draw double lines across the paper and divide into 4 equal spaces.

Write down one of the values you see on the default page, say the title, Meaning and mental representation.

In the first box to your left (my right), write “Main Title.” Then go to each of the alternative formats and write down what subjects “contain” the title.

First difference, a topic map can treat the containers of subjects as subjects in their own right. (Important for mapping between systems and disclosing that mapping to others.)

Second difference, with the topic “unfolded” as it were, you can either view the other subjects that contain the subject of interest, or, you can cut the cube out and fold it up and display only one set of subjects at a time. You should fill out another set of boxes and make such cubes in preparation for the next difference.

Third difference, assuming that you have cut out two or more cubes and taped them together.

Rotate one of the cubes for a particular piece of information to a different face than the others.

Now we can see “Main Title” in the default system while seeing the author listing in Dublin Core. Our information system has become as heterogeneous as the data that it consumes.

Assignment: Do this exercise for 5 items in the LOC catalog (at least 3 fields) (your choice of items and fields) and prepare to discuss what insights this gives you about the items, their cataloging, the systems for classification or similar themes. Or a theme of your own. This entire area is very much in discovery mode.

What Information Goes With Your Subject? Exercise

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

A print index does not organize all the information about a subject in one location. It doesn’t even organize all the information in your personal book collection about a subject in one location. It organizes all the information in one book about a subject in one location.

We are no longer subject to that constraint.

But the question is: Without any artificial barriers, what information should go with a subject?

Example: Online maps co-locate information about hotels, convenience stores, bars, etc. with physical locations.

That is a tiny number of the subjects that we see or read about in a week. What would you like to see with those subjects?

Exercise: Every day for the next two weeks, take pencil/pen and paper around with you. At least once per day, twice if you can manage it, write down a subject you want to know more about. Without stopping to think about difficulty, expense, etc., jot down 5 pieces of information you would like to see with that subject.

Extra credit: For extra credit, rank in what order you would like to see the additional information.

Citation Indexing – Semantic Diversity – Exercise

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

In A Conceptual View of Citation Indexing, which is chapter 1 of Citation Indexing — Its Theory and Application in Science, Technology, and Humanities (1979), Garfield says of the problem of changing terminology and semantics:

Citations, used as indexing statements, provide these lost measures of search simplicity, productivity, and efficiency by avoiding the semantics problems. For example, suppose you want information on the physics of simple fluids. The simple citation “Fisher, M.E., Math. Phys., 5,944, 1964” would lead the searcher directly to a list of papers that have cited this important paper on the subject. Experience has shown that a significant percentage of the citing papers are likely to be relevant. There is no need for the searcher to decide which subject terms an indexer would be most likely to use to describe the relevant papers. The language habits of the searcher would not affect the search results, nor would any changes in scientific terminology that took place since the Fisher paper was published.

In other words, the citation is a precise, unambiguous representation of a subject that requires no interpretation and is immune to changes in terminology. In addition, the citation will retain its precision over time. It also can be used in documents written in different languages. The importance of this semantic stability and precision to the search process is best demonstrated by a series of examples.

Question: What subject does a citation represent?

Question: What “precision” does the citation retain over time?

Exercise: Select any article that interests you with more than twenty (20) non-self citations. Identify ten (10) ideas in the article and examine at least twenty (20) citing articles. Why was your article cited? Was your article cited for an idea you identified? Was your article cited for an idea you did not identify? (Either one is correct. This is not a test of guessing why an article will be cited. It is exploration of a problem space. Your fact finding is important.)

Extra credit: Did you notice any evidence to support or contradict the notion that citation indexing avoids the issue of semantic diversity? If your article has been cited for more than ten (10) years, try one or two citations per year for every year it is cited. Again, your factual observations are important.