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Re: Example of coordination with DDC

From: nabonita guha <nabonitaguha@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2006 07:28:20 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <20060801142820.5730.qmail@web30007.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
To: public-esw-thes@w3.org
Cc: Jakob Voss <jakob.voss@gbv.de>
Hi Jakob,

I'm a library science professional exploring the application of library classification theory on Web using Semantic Technologies. I've also made a comparative study of various library classification schemes. No doubt that DDC and UDC are most popular schemes but they have some serious limitations. Just for e.g. each subject requires a definite place in the array of subjects. But if we study carefully the notational system of DDC (UDC is based on DDC pattern) , we will find that 000-900 notations have been assigned to the subjects randomly. But due to the fixed notational systems, interpolation of newly emerging subjects between existing subjects becomes a serious issue.

There is a less known classification system which is based on well-proven library classification theory, that is called Colon Classification (CC). I see great potentials of this system to resolve the problem of knowledge organization on Web. Take for e.g., the one complex subject 'Geopolitics': made up of two basic subjects 'geography and politics'. In UDC the no. will be 32:91

32 = Politics
  : = relation symbol
91 = Geography

Now here's a no. from CC for the same specific subject: U:(W)

Here U = Geography
         : = symbol of Energy facet (some activity, process or action, influence)
       ( ) = Subject device
       W = Political Science 

So, the number of CC says that the subject deals with the influence of political factors in a geographical area. Where as in UDC the nature of relationship between two subject components is not so explicit.

I do not means to show here mere the strengths & weaknesses of two classification schemes, but want to say that if our knowledge organization system should be backed by well-proved theory, logic and some principles of helpful sequence. If we can incorporate all these in SKOS, then we will definitely be able to make SKOS a sound knowledge organization system, but with proper simplicity. Coordination of subject components is definitely essential, but with proper logic.

Hope I could make myself clear to some extent :-) . Please share your views/opinion on this matter.

With regards


Research Fellow
Documentation Research & Training Centre (DRTC)
Email: guha@drtc.isibang.ac.in

Jakob Voss <jakob.voss@gbv.de> wrote: 

The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) is widely used worldwide. It
contain many rules how to build new classes (concepts) and numbers
(notations) from existing numbers and tables. The Dewey blog contains
examples, for instance the current entry about provinces in Indonesia:


The example uses the DDC number "551.220959827090511" - it's build the
following way:

551.22  Earthquakes
--09    Historical, geographic, persons treatment (Table 1)
--59827 Yogyakarta (Table 2)
--09    Historical and geographic treatment
--0511  for 2000-2009

You can treat this as a simple monohierarchical tree:

551.220959827090511 skos:broader 551.220959827
551.220959827 skos:broader 551.22
551.22 skos:broader 552.2
552.2 skos:broader 552
552 skos:broader 55
55 skos:broader 5

But it can also be treated like a coordination of terms:

551.22 (Earthquakes)
T2--59827 (Yogyakarta)
T1--090511 (2000-2009)

The more I think about it - coordination (and mapping, that is a similar
concept) is not an SKOS extensions but an essential feature and only
little work has been done:

As far as I understand Alistair we could model 551.220959827090511:

  skos:broader <551.220959827>
  skos:coordinationOf (

  skos:broader <551.22>
  skos:coordinationOf (

  skos:broader <551.2>



P.S: I hope there is no error in the DDC notation (I'm no real expert in

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Received on Tuesday, 1 August 2006 14:28:31 GMT

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