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RE: [cmpros] RE: Taxonomy from indexes?

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  • Seth Earley
    I wonder. It s such a small index that it would be crazy to do it in an automated fashion. It would also not make sense that for GM the indexer would not
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 9, 2005
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      I wonder.  It's such a small index that it would be crazy to do it in an automated fashion.  It would also not make sense that for GM the indexer would not speak English.  But it is so bad that it really defies explanation. 
       
      You're referring to Lotus Discovery Server - I never heard about the ASI presentation.  Do you recall who from Lotus participated?  Wendi Pohs and I were the co authors of a book on Discover Server.  Good concept for clustering, but I would never sell it as an automated indexing tool.  Perhaps a first pass at a large body of information to do initial clustering but the machine generated terms were not usable.  But you are right, this does have the flavor of a machine generated index.
       
      On that topic, what are people's experience with some of the automated tools?  We are planning a Community of Practice call on automated and retrospective indexing.  Any good or bad experiences out there? 
       
      Seth
       

      Seth Earley

      Earley & Associates, Inc

      781-444-0287

      781-820-8080 cell

      Taxonomy consulting, conference calls

      and community of practice

      www.earley.com/events.htm
      -----Original Message-----
      From: MJBarczak [mailto:ivygrad@...]
      Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005 8:48 AM
      To: Jan Johnston-Tyler; 'Seth Earley'; bounce-8235421-4324767@...
      Cc: cmpros@...; TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com; 'Indexer's Discussion Group'
      Subject: RE: [cmpros] RE: Taxonomy from indexes?

      These indexes may have been done by any of the following:
       
      persons whose first language is not English
      autoindexing by computer.
       
      At an ASI annual meeting in 2000, the folks from Lotus demonstrated automated indexing process with little or no human intervention.  Needless to say, many of the audience walked out!!!
       
      MJBarczak
      MJB Indexing Service


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jan Johnston-Tyler
      Sent: Jun 8, 2005 5:39 PM
      To: 'Seth Earley' , ivygrad@..., bounce-8235421-4324767@...
      Cc: cmpros@..., TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com, 'Indexer's Discussion Group'
      Subject: RE: [cmpros] RE: Taxonomy from indexes?

      LOL! Yes, this is EXACTLY the type of index that should make all knowledge workers cringe. It’s a perfect example of a bad index.

       

      Note that what you were looking for – tire pressure – wasn’t even there.

       


      From: Seth Earley [mailto:Seth@...]
      Sent: Saturday, June 04, 2005 5:12 PM
      To: Jan Johnston-Tyler; ivygrad@...; bounce-8235421-4324767@...
      Cc: cmpros@...; TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com; 'Indexer's Discussion Group'
      Subject: RE: [cmpros] RE: Taxonomy from indexes?

       

      This actually reminds me of what I had to go through to find my tire pressure for my car using the index of the owners manual.  Just for kicks I will outline the process: 

       

      Turn to the index and look for Tire Pressure. 

       

      Entries as follow:

      Tire

          Low Message 

      Tire Inflation Check

      TIRE MON (Tire Inflation Monitor Reset)

      Tire Sidewall Labeling

      Tire Size

      Tire Terminology and Definitions

      Tires

          Buying New tires

          Chains

          Changing a Flat Tire

          Compact Spare Tire

          If a Tire Goes Flat

          Inflation - Tire Pressure

       

      (I realize I should have started with the last entry, but I started with the first one that made sense to me and followed the trail from there...)

       

      Starting with "Tire - Low Message", P 3-48 has the valuable insight that Low Tire Pressure Message indicates that the tire pressure is low and to see page 5-64 for information on the "Tire Pressure Monitor System" under "Tires"

       

      Tire Inflation Check on page 6-9 says to check to be sure tires are inflated to the correct pressure.  See "Tires" on pate 5-64

       

      I guess we need to be on P 5-64 to learn all about Tires. 

       

      Tires on 5-64 tells us that "the vehicle comes with high quality tires made by a leading tire manufacturer." 

       

      "If you have questions about your tire warranty and where to obtain service, see your GM Warranty booklet for details.  For additional information refer to the tire manufacturers booklet included with your vehicle's Owner's Manual."

       

      Wait a minute, I thought I was in the Owner's Manual...  Just checked.  Yup, I was in the Owner's Manual. 

       

      That page also contains yellow boxes with the words CAUTION and warnings about "overloading your tires can cause overheating and result in an 'air-out'..." and to see "Loading Your Vehicle" in the index. 

       

      (Good thing we are not talking about a "blow-out"... an "air-out" sounds much less risky.  )

       

      There are also warnings of under inflating, over inflating and worn tires....  Looks like all we need to know now is the TIRE PRESSURE!!! 

       

      Obviously I should have first turned to "Tires - Inflation - Tire Pressure" on page 5-72

       

      OK, this must be it....  Let's see

       

      Inflation - Tire Pressure P 5-72

      "The tire and loading information label, shows the correct inflation pressures for your tires when they're cold. 'Cold' means means your vehicle has been sitting for at least 3 hours....  See 'Loading Your Vehicle' on page 4-32 for  the location of your vehicles tire and loading information"... This was followed by more warnings about over and under inflation, etc, etc...

       

      Loading Your Vehicle P 4-32

      "It is very important to know how much weight your vehicle can carry.  This weight is called the vehicle capacity weight...  Two labels indicate how much the vehicle can carry...  the Tire and Loading Information label and the Certification label. " 

       

      "The Tire and Loading Information label shows the seating capacity and the total weight your vehicle can properly carry.  This weight is called the vehicle capacity weight.  If your vehicle has the Tire and Loading Information label, Example 1, the label is attached to the center pillar, near the drivers door latch.  If your vehicle has Tire and Loading Information label, Example 2, the label is on the inside trunk lid."  

       

      I see, I was looking in the wrong place the entire time.  It wasn't even in the book after all. No wonder the index did not help...     

       

      This lost a little of its ridiculousness in my abridged translation and I know this is not entirely the indexers fault.  There was a tremendous amount of useless and self evident explanation that I had to wade through to get to the next reference point.  But talk about a frustrating user experience!

       

      Seth

       

      Seth Earley

      Earley & Associates, Inc

      781-444-0287

      781-820-8080 cell

      Taxonomy consulting, conference calls

      and community of practice

      www.earley.com/events.htm

      -----Original Message-----
      From: cmpros-bounces@... [mailto:cmpros-bounces@...]On Behalf Of Jan Johnston-Tyler
      Sent: Saturday, June 04, 2005 5:48 PM
      To: 'Seth Earley'; ivygrad@...; bounce-8235421-4324767@...
      Cc: cmpros@...; TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com; 'Indexer's Discussion Group'
      Subject: RE: [cmpros] RE: Taxonomy from indexes?

      LOL…well, let me hunt around and see if I can find a really bad index (the one for my new camcorder comes to mind, but it’s only half a page long…).

       


      From: Seth Earley [mailto:Seth@...]
      Sent: Friday, June 03, 2005 9:25 AM
      To: Jan Johnston-Tyler; ivygrad@...; bounce-8235421-4324767@...
      Cc: cmpros@...; TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com; 'Indexer's Discussion Group'
      Subject: RE: [cmpros] RE: Taxonomy from indexes?

       

      I like the bad examples.  I also like to hear horror stories of projects gone awry. 

       

      People tend to talk more about the stuff they've done correctly than all the mistakes they made along the way...

      What we should do is deconstruct some of the bad examples and point out where improvements can be made.  Call it extreme taxonomy makeover.  :-)

       

      Seth Earley

      Earley & Associates, Inc

      781-444-0287

      781-820-8080 cell

      Taxonomy consulting, conference calls

      and community of practice

      www.earley.com/events.htm

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jan Johnston-Tyler [mailto:janjt@...]
      Sent: Friday, June 03, 2005 11:15 AM
      To: 'Seth Earley'; ivygrad@...; bounce-8235421-4324767@...
      Cc: cmpros@...; TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com; 'Indexer's Discussion Group'
      Subject: RE: [cmpros] RE: Taxonomy from indexes?

      LOL, bad examples are EASY to find!

       

      The best place to find good information about indexing is from the Uber organization (in the states anyway), American Society of Indexers at http://www.asindexing.org/site/index.html. The site has some excellent information there on best practices that we could all learn from as knowledge specialists in one way or another. Several of the articles point to email threads from our friends on the Indexer’s Discussion Group on our cc: line!


      From: Seth Earley [mailto:Seth@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 9:50 PM
      To: Jan Johnston-Tyler; ivygrad@...; bounce-8235421-4324767@...
      Cc: cmpros@...; TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com; 'Indexer's Discussion Group'
      Subject: RE: [cmpros] RE: Taxonomy from indexes?

       

      Thanks Jan - that is a good distinction.  Can you point to a good concise source for indexing best practices?  Those of us who build taxos could benefit from understanding those conventions... Perhaps a list of good and bad indexes with specific examples (illustrating your points) would drive home the important considerations.

       

      Seth

       

      Seth Earley

      Earley & Associates, Inc

      781-444-0287

      781-820-8080 cell

      Taxonomy consulting, conference calls

      and community of practice

      www.earley.com/events.htm

      -----Original Message-----
      From: cmpros-bounces@... [mailto:cmpros-bounces@...]On Behalf Of Jan Johnston-Tyler
      Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 9:14 PM
      To: 'Seth Earley'; ivygrad@...; bounce-8235421-4324767@...
      Cc: cmpros@...; TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com; 'Indexer's Discussion Group'
      Subject: RE: [cmpros] RE: Taxonomy from indexes?

      Seth, you make a very good distinction, and I want to make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed:

       

      “because a professional has spent time…”

       

      Not all indexes are done by professionals! I fact, the lion share in ‘consumer’ technical material (e.g., tech doc) has probably never been touched by a professional, sad to say. To derive a taxonomy from one of the indexes is a dicey proposition because most tech writers (who do most indexing) have never been trained to index.  (So, some entries with start with a verb, some a noun, some always a gerund, some are passive, some are imperative, some use one naming convention, other entries use another yet parallel convention…I could go on. J)

       

      However, using a PROFESSIONALLY DONE index is a very, very good place to start. Indexers were the original taxonomy specialists in this field – they’ve been doing it for a lot longer than we have!

       


      From: cmpros-bounces@... [mailto:cmpros-bounces@...] On Behalf Of Seth Earley
      Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2005 9:02 AM
      To: ivygrad@...; bounce-8235421-4324767@...
      Cc: cmpros@...; TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com; Indexer's Discussion Group
      Subject: [cmpros] RE: Taxonomy from indexes?

       

      I have long advocated using back of the book indexes to find candidate terms.  There is an interesting list (Indexer's Discussion Group) that I monitor in order to learn about the challenges of building these types of indexes. Though the group gets into some detail and esoterica around exactly how to format and construct entries, or can go off into issues around pricing their work (many are freelancers) they wrestle with the same challenges that content management people do, though coming at the problem from a different angle. 

       

      I have intentionally cross posted this to the Indexers Discussion and Taxonomy Community of Practice lists in order to stimulate some discussion from people in different camps and let people know about the different forums. 

       

      A couple of months ago I wrote an article for the Society for Technical Communications on the topic of index development versus taxonomy development http://www.earley.com/earley_report.htm   The article explains taxo development to indexers but also talks about how these are two very similar processes.  A more detailed article could explore more of the challenges of each or explain indexing to the content management community.  

       

      The way you apply a taxonomy to content is through the process of indexing (applying tags to documents).  One of the big challenges in organizing content is "retrospective indexing".  How do you take all of that content without tags and apply terms?  Usually this requires intervention of a trained indexer, but in most cases, non professionals are recruited. 

       

      So yes, back of the book indexes are a great place to start because a professional has spent time extracting key concepts and set pointers back to meaningful occurrences of the concept.  If a book on the particular domain of knowledge is available, then its a good place to mine for candidate taxonomy terms. 

       

      Seth

       

      Seth Earley

      Earley & Associates, Inc

      781-444-0287

      781-820-8080 cell

      Taxonomy consulting, conference calls

      and community of practice

      www.earley.com/events.htm

      -----Original Message-----
      From: cmpros-bounces@... [mailto:cmpros-bounces@...]On Behalf Of Ivy Grad
      Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2005 7:48 AM
      To: bounce-8235421-4324767@...
      Cc: cmpros@...
      Subject: [cmpros] Taxonomy from indexes?

      I would like to start a threat for the benefit of us "pioneers" who have traversed the librarian/technical services-indexing trail into the uncharted path of IT-data mining-AI-machine-based indexing.

      How many of us have utilized back-of-the-book indexing or indexes to create a taxonomy? 

      Can this technique be applied to the data mining information/knowledge discovery arena, to continue the legacy of extracting humanly-understandable meaning from bits and bytes of data obtained by scrape by bots?

      If you are engaged in the attempt to improve search and retrieval in totally automated processes, and wish to further the mission of our collective indexing experience and heritage (pre-AI), this discussion may be" the beginning of a beautiful friendship" ...

       

      To begin the discussion, (eyeball) scan the TOC and Index for Information Visualization in Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery (Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) by Usama Fayyad, et al. 

       

       


      As an aside, I came upon this by serendipity on the 'Web.  One of the posts to the cmpros list looking for "FDK developers" prompted me to Yahoo! FDK, which resulted  Acronym Finder Search page, which resulted three choices, one for FDK at Univ. of Helsinki , from whose link resulted the book.

       

      M. Jessie Barczak
      MJB Indexing Service

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