Subdomain vocabularies


The objective of this project is to help searchers convert queries in their own language into the terms used in unfamiliar indexes and classifications (metadata).

A dictionary ("entry vocabulary") leads from words or phrases familiar to the searcher to the associated terms in the index or classification to be searched. The scope ("domain") covered by large bibliographic or textual databases usually includes several specialized topical areas ("subdomains").

Each topical area reflects the work of community of specialists. These communities evolve their own specialized vocabulary: different terms and specialized meanings of other terms. The obvious approach is to create a single dictionary for the target database as a whole. But searches are usually concerned with a specialized topic within a database. This raises the following questions:

  1. Should search support should be customized to each subdomain?
  2. Would that lead to a better (more specialized) search terms?
  3. Would that lead to different, better search results?

Specialized dictionaries (entry vocabulary modules) have been created for specialized topics (subdomains) in order to find out

Preliminary analyses indicate substantial differences in the choice of metadata terms and in the retrieval results.

Papers & Reports

Sensitivity of Entry Vocabulary Modules to Subdomains
Technical report, 1998.

An Analysis of the Effects on Searching of the Use Three Subdomain Entry Vocabularies Technical Note, 1999.

An Analysis of the Subdomain Sensitivity of the EVM, Technical Report, 1999.

Variation in Subdomain Indexes Technical Report, 2000.

Evaluation of the Sensitivity of Subdomain in EVM dictionary approach Technical Report, 2000.

Subdomain Entry Vocabulary Modules Evaluation. Technical Report, 2000.
Variation by Subdomain in Indexes to Knowledge Organization Systems. In: Dynamism and Stability in Knowledge Organization: Proceedinsg of the Sixth International ISKO Conference, 10-13 July 2000, Toronto, Canada. Michael K. Buckland, Aitao Chen, Michael Gebbie, Youngin Kim, & Barbara Norgard. Edited by Clare Beghtol, Lynne C Howarth, Nancy Williamson. Wuerzburg, Germany: Ergon Verlag. 2000. pp. 48-54.M

Domain-Based Indexes: Indexing for Communities of Users. In: 3e Congrès du Chapitre français de L'ISKO, 506 juillet 2001. Filtrage et résumé informatique de l'information sur les réseaux. Michael Buckland, Hailing Jiang, Youngin Kim, & Vivien Petras. Paris: Université Nanterre Paris X. pp 181-185.