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Ontological fingeprinting: documents or people

Anjo gives a bit of insight into our internal discussions on uses of ontologies:

Andy Boyd came up with a wonderful new term: “ontological fingerprinting” and to illustrate how imaginative he is: zero hits on Google! Suppose one has an ontology (lexicon, thesaurus) and some software that can determine whether the terms in the ontology are present in a document. Applying the software, one gets a “fingerprint” of the concepts in the ontology for a given document. Comparing fingerprints for different documents, such is the assumption, provides a better metric of the similarity between these documents than comparing plain words. Ideas like this simply have to be tested in practice. Fortunately, Andy is making available a lot of real data to try it.

I like the term, but find it a bit misleading: usually documents do not have fingers 🙂

I’d associate the term with people – you may think of “ontological fingerprint” of a person, which could be something like conceptualisations produced by Sigmund based on analysis of weblog posts written by someone, set of personal categories someone uses to classify a document or mapping one’s documents to a shared ontology. Then you can look for others with similar “fingerprints” (this was one of uses I imagined for Sigmund, but didn’t have such a nice term to talk about it :).

May be we should rather talk about “ontological abstract” in case of documents…

Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2005/01/28.html#a1493; comments are here.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • research_tools September 12, 2008, 02:07

    Topodia’s intereface presents research with an interesting twist and may very well point to the future for index aggregation and knowledge sharing. Take a look at the Beta – its private, but people are getting in… http://www.topodia.com

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