Design vs Emergence: The structure of knowledge

Conference/workshop presentation

Design vs Emergence: The structure of knowledge

Graphs have been widely used to represent various types of complex systems. Examples range from straightforward ones such as the router links or hyperlinks from the Internet (also known as Cybergeography) to the highly abstract ones like protein folding networks or network maps of social behavior (for instance on e-Bay or Facebook). It is obvious that representing a complex system as a simple graph is a reduction of information, showing only one aspect of the original system. In most studies only one such aspect is
investigated, using a single, specific characteristic to build the network.
Our aim is to look at a specific system from different perspectives simultaneously. We hope to obtain an additional insight into the system that an examination of single aspects on their own cannot give. We have chosen Wikipedia as our case study with a focus on all articles falling under the Wikipedia category “Science”. We will compare the structure of articles linked through Wikipedia's multiple category assignments with the structure defined through direct hyperlinks between articles. Traditionally, classification of
knowledge is a task delivered by experts resulting into a designed system of organization. In contrast to this, the structure of Wikipedia’s direct links create an emergent organization. Moreover, the category system in Wikipedia is atypical, as it was not designed by experts, but created through the initiatives of individual Wikipedia authors.
Despite that, we believe the category structure created by users reflects a top-down classification system individual users had in their minds and therefore will show a considerable likeness to traditional classification systems. We hope to see the similarities and differences between both aspects of knowledge organization, as well as to investigate how the classification system has evolved over time. The choice of Science category has additional goal of comparing obtained structure with more traditional maps of science, usually obtained from bibliographic data.
This study should show how basically the same system can be viewed from different perspectives, and how do these perspectives relate to each other. Moreover we hope to find and identify relations between changes in both perspectives.

03/02/2010 - 06/02/2010,
Keywords:
Locations: Saragossa, Spain
Institutions: Instituto de Biocomputacion y Fisica de los Sistemas Complejos, Universidad de Zaragoza
URL
  • http://bifi.unizar.es/events/bifi2010/
Reference
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