There was an email discussion recently where ambiguity was discussed as something to be avoided.
It occurred to me, if there were no ambiguity, there would be no serendipity.
Think about the last time you searched for a particular paper. If you remembered enough to go directly to it, you did not see any similar or closely resembling papers along the way.
Now imagine every information request you make results in exactly what you were searching for.
What a terribly dull search experience that would be!
Topic maps can produce the circumstances where serendipity occurs because a subject can be identified any number of ways. Quite possibly several that you are unaware of. And seeing those other ways may spark a memory of another paper, perhaps another line of thought, etc.
I think my list of “other names” for record linkage now exceeds 25 and I really need to cast those into a topic map fragment along with citations to the places they can be found.
I don’t think of topic maps as a means to avoid ambiguity but rather as a means to make ambiguity a manageable part of an information seeking experience.