• Abstraction and the Organization of Images: František Kupka and the Organization of Graphic Motifs

      Olson, Hope; Lussky, Joan (2008)
      František Kupka (1871-1957), a Czech painter who spent most of his career in France, one of the artists sometimes described as the father of abstract art, a sometime spirit medium and theosophist, also has a contribution to make to the organization of information. At a knowledge organization conference in Washington, DC some years ago I visited the National Gallery of Art and, rounding a corner, was confronted by Kupka's roughly six-by-six foot painting Organization of Graphic Motifs II. The painting along with its earlier and later variants epitomizes Kupka's interpretation of how images are organized in the creation of art. This paper will lay open Kupka's philosophy of art as it parallels or opposes some of the basic tenets of the organization of information with the Organization of Graphic Motifs cluster of works as an example. The proposed paper will elaborate on Kupka's philosophy of art, explore examples, consider the implications for representation of images/knowledge/information, and pose questions. In knowledge organization we typically presume that our goal is to represent reality as closely as possible. For Kupka there is a truth in representing a new, artist-constructed reality. Is the notion of a different reality and a representation that conflicts with "real" reality acceptable or anathema in the organization of images (or knowledge)? Are artists the only ones who can create representations in a new reality or can classifiers/indexers do so as well? How does this vision of representation contribute to inconsistency and subjectivity in the organization of images/knowledge/information?

      Beebe, Caroline; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      This research makes a methodological contribution to the development of faceted vocabularies and suggests a potentially significant tool for the development of more effective image retrieval systems. The research project applied an innovative experimental methodology to collect terms used by subjects in the description of images drawn from three domains. The resulting natural language vocabulary was then analyzed to identify a set of concepts that were shared across subjects. These concepts were subsequently organized as a faceted vocabulary that can be used to describe the shapes and relationships between shapes that constitute the internal spatial composition -- or internal contextuality -- of images. Because the vocabulary minimizes the terminological confusion surrounding the representation of the content and internal composition of digital images in Content-Based Image Retrieval [CBIR] systems, it can be applied to develop more effective image retrieval metrics and to enhance the selection of criteria for similarity judgments for CBIR systems. CBIR is a technology made possible by the binary nature of the computer. Although CBIR is used for the representation and retrieval of digital images, these systems make no attempt either to establish a basis for similarity judgments generated by query-by-pictorial-example searches or to address the connection between image content and its internal spatial composition. The disconnect between physical data (the binary code of the computer) and its conceptual interpretation (the intellectual code of the searcher) is known as the semantic gap. A descriptive vocabulary capable of representing the internal visual structure of images has the potential to bridge this gap by connecting physical data with its conceptual interpretation. This research project addressed three questions: Is there a shared vocabulary of terms used by subjects to represent the internal contextuality (i.e., composition) of images? Can the natural language terms be organized into concepts? And, if there is a vocabulary of concepts, is it shared across subject pairs? A natural language vocabulary was identified on the basis of term occurrence in oral descriptions provided by 21 pairs of subjects participating in a referential communication task. In this experiment, each subject pair generated oral descriptions for 14 of 182 images drawn from the domains of abstract art, satellite imagery and photo-microscopy. Analysis of the natural language vocabulary identified a set of 1,319 unique terms; these terms were collapsed into 545 concepts which were subsequently organized into a faceted vocabulary. Frequency of occurrence and domain distribution were tallied for each term and concept of the vocabulary. A shared-ness rating scale was devised to measure subject agreement on concept use. Rank ordering of concepts by shared-ness measure demonstrated which concepts were more broadly shared across subject pairs. To determine if the concepts generated by subject pairs were used consistently by each pair across the three domains the subjects were considered to be â judgesâ and the Spearman rank correlation was computed to indicate inter-rater reliability. Correlation analysis indicated that subject pairs tended to agree in the extent to which they used certain concepts across multiple domains and 14 concepts with the highest shared-ness sums would form the heart of a shared vocabulary. This faceted vocabulary can contribute to the development of more effective image retrieval metrics and interfaces to minimize the terminological confusion and conceptual overlap that currently exists in most CBIR systems. For both the user and the system, the concepts in the faceted vocabulary can be used to represent shapes and relationships between shapes (i.e., internal contextuality) that constitute the internal spatial composition of an image. Representation of internal contextuality would contribute to more effective image search and retrieval by facilitating the construction of more precise feature queries by the user as well as the selection of criteria for similarity judgments in CBIR applications. In addition, reliance of subjects on the use of analogy to describe images suggests that the faceted vocabulary of terms and concepts could be used to provide both the user and the CBIR system with a link to the visual shape represented by a verbal construct. Developing a visual vocabulary of shapes and relationships could be an important application of the controlled vocabulary that emerged from this study. Verbal access to concepts could serve as entry points leading into the visual vocabulary where shapes would be paired with specific low-level terms.
    • Cataloging and You: Measuring the Efficacy of a Folksonomy for Subject Analysis

      Smith, Tiffany; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      Folksonomies, or user-created taxonomies, are currently used as collaborative tools to describe images, films, hyperlinks, and other objects and documents. LibraryThing is a website that lets users catalog their own book collections through the use of Library of Congress Subject Headings and social tagging. This paper records the results of exploratory research focusing on the connection between folksonomies and controlled vocabulary and utilizing LibraryThing as a possible benchmark to measure taggingâ s efficacy and accuracy as an instrument for subject analysis.
    • Chronological Organization of Schools and Styles of Art

      Green, Rebecca; Lussky, Joan (2008)
      Chronological arrangement plays an important role in arts organization because it mirrors stylistic development. Over time, increasingly shorter time periods have become appropriate in the chronological organization of the arts due to the rate of technological change, modern communications and education, and modern values that favor pluralism and individuality. Century- or decades-based time periods, although arbitrary, avoid difficulties posed by multiple schools of art being active across overlapping time periods. Such arbitrary time periods appear also to serve well for the current time during which the concept of schools of art has weakened.
    • Cultural Infrastructure: The Story of How Classification Came to Shape Our Lives

      Olson, Hope; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      Classification is ubiquitous. It is present in almost every aspect of your life. There is the classification of your race on your birth certificate and, ultimately, the classification of the cause on your death certificate. In between you may be paid according to your job classification and the American Time Use Survey Activity Lexicon will classify how you spend your unpaid time. We also have classifications for mental disorders, for planets, for hurricanes, even for snowflakes. Of course we are most familiar with bibliographic classifications, the Dewey Decimal Classification, the Library of Congress Classification, and the Universal Decimal Classification paramount among them. What does this ubiquity mean for us and where did it come from? This paper will trace a brief history of the common structure of these classifications and their manifestations and ramifications in our world.
    • Everything Old is New Again: Perspectivism and Polyhierarchy in Julius O. Kaiser's Theory of Systematic Indexing

      Dousa, Thomas; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      In the early years of the 20th century, Julius Otto Kaiser (1868â 1927), a special librarian and indexer of technical literature, developed a method of knowledge organization (KO) known as systematic indexing. Certain elements of the method - its stipulation that all indexing terms be divided into fundamental categories "concretes", "countries", and "processes", which are then to be synthesized into indexing "statements" formulated according to strict rules of citation order - have long been recognized as precursors to key principles of the theory of faceted classification. However, other, less well-known elements of the method may prove no less interesting to practitioners of KO. In particular, two aspects of systematic indexing seem to prefigure current trends in KO: (1) a perspectivist outlook that rejects universal classifications in favor of information organization systems customized to reflect local needs and (2) the incorporation of index terms extracted from source documents into a polyhierarchical taxonomical structure. Kaiserâ s perspectivism anticipates postmodern theories of KO, while his principled use of polyhierarchy to organize terms derived from the language of source documents provides a potentially fruitful model that can inform current discussions about harvesting natural-language terms, such as tags, and incorporating them into a flexibly structured controlled vocabulary.
    • Hunting Trophies and IKEA Wallpaper: Reflecting on the Representation of the Scientific Object

      Gold / Smith, Susan; Lussky, Joan (2008)
      As a visual artist, I collect, organize, and re present and continually reflect on that process. The life and work of Swedish botanist Carl von Linné continues to be significant in understanding the cultural practices of classification and representation. Images gathered in the University of Uppsala, at Linné’s preserved home in Hammerby outside of Uppsala, Sweden and from Linné’s samples stored by the Royal Society in London continue to infuse my art work. It was Linné who developed the binomial system of classification which is the basis of modern scientific classification. It was Linné who strived for a systematic representation of the natural object. Information was not real or useful to science unless it took a quantified form. Naming. Measuring. Representing. I am drawn to the similarities and differences of artistic and scientific practice. My focus lies in the ironies of that comparison. Currently I work with the natural object as it is represented in scientific collections and public display. I am interested in the meaning of the representation. My presentation to the ASSI&T Workshop would take the form of a visual presentation of the natural object, beginning in the 18th century with Linné, followed by subsequent developments in the representation of nature. Examples of my art work would be used to consider that history.
    • Image Access, the Semantic Gap, and Social Tagging as a Paradigm Shift

      Jorgensen, Corinne; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      The recent phenomenon of "social tagging" or "distributed indexing" raises a number of questions regarding long-held beliefs and practices of the classification and indexing community. This workshop paper covers several of these issues, such as locus of authority, control, and meaning, and suggests we may be observing the emergence of a new paradigm of knowledge organization.
    • The Index Catalogue and Historical Shifts in Medical Knowledge, & Word Usage Patterns

      Lussky, Joan; Breitenstein, Mikel (dLIST, 2004)
      Faithful aggregated accounts of the advancement of science are invaluable for those setting scientific policy as well as scholars of the history of science. As science develops the scholarly communityiÌ s determination of the accepted knowledge undergoes shifts. Within medicine these shifts include our understanding of what can cause disease and what defines specific disease entities. Shifts in accepted medical knowledge are captured in the medical literature. The Index Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon GeneraliÌ s Office, United States Army, published from 1880 -1961, is an extremely large index to medical literature. The newly digitized form of this index, referred to as the IndexCat, allows us a way to generate faithful accounts of the development of medical science during the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries. My data looks at shifts within the IndexCat surrounding three disease entities: syphilis, Huntington's chorea, and beriberi, and their interactions with two disease causation theories: germ and hereditary, from 1880-1930. Temporal changes in the prominent subject heading words and title words within the literature of these diseases and disease theories corroborate qualitative accounts of this same literature, which reports the complex and sometimes oblique process of knowledge accretion. Although preliminary, my results indicate that the IndexCat is a valuable tool for studying the development of medical knowledge.
    • Issues in Subject Analysis and Description of Political Cartoons

      Landbeck, Chris; Lussky, Joan (2008)
      Political cartoons are not meant to record visual evidence of an event as a photo might, neither are they created to act as icons for the events that they speak to. Rather, they treat the events of their day with an acknowledged slant in the point-of-view, draw correlations between events when such correlations might exist only in the mind of the artist, or deride (or, rarely, admire) individuals or organizations. In all cases, political cartoons fall far more on Fidelâ s Object pole than they do on her Data pole (1997). Indexing political cartoons offers a unique challenge in the larger realm of indexing images. But while subject access has been the focus of image indexing research in recent years, and is a robust and active topic of discussion and debate, it has rarely been turned to the realm of indexing opinion, visual or otherwise. Will Armitage and Enserâ s Panofsky-Shatford mode/facet matrix (1997) be more useful in such work than Jorgensenâ s 12 classes (1994), or will an entirely new measure of subject need to be developed? This paper asks questions within this realm of image indexing as it pertains to political cartoons. Do the subject indexing needs of political cartoons change if the focus is a social or historical issue rather than a political one? There are times when a political cartoonist will choose to address an issue that has less to do with political action or intrigue and more to do with a social ill or trend (such as teen pregnancy), or a historical event of a limited nature (such as the death of a statesman). Does this focus change the needs and requirements of providing subject access to cartoons from that needed for images of a more political nature? Is this a part of the â biographyâ of an image (Roberts, 2001)? Is the event (or events) that inspired a cartoon the de facto subject(s) of it? Proceeding from the proposition that some sort of newsworthy events are the progenitors of political cartoons, do those events serve as the subject elements in cartoon indexing schemes? Is Svenoniousâ subject/predicate model (1994) complete enough? Is the subject of a cartoon determined by what must be known to â get itâ ? Can a cartoon have more than two subjects? Some cartoons make their point though the juxtaposition of disparate items. If a cartoon uses two disparate news items to make a point, are there two subjects? If so, is there a hierarchical relationship â superordinate/subordinate, major/minor, primary/secondary â between them? Is Mai (2005) correct in saying that the meaning of a document changes, depending on the question being asked of it? On the opposite end of the spectrum, can a cartoon refer to something that is not useful as a subject descriptor?
    • Organization as Meta-literacy: Evaluating student use of metadata and information organization principles in the classroom

      Mitchel, Erik; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      This poster presents the results of a research project which investigated the inclusion of information organization and metadata creation instruction in an undergraduate level history seminar course. Over the course of the semester, twelve students were asked to create Qualified Dublin Core records for approximately 500 articles from a historical newspaper. Prior to creating the records, students were trained in metadata record creation and given instruction on original description. Students used the created records in their research and presented their papers at a symposium at the end of the semester. The research project evaluated the metadata created and investigated student reactions to the process via an online survey. The research found that while students bring an interest in information organization and management techniques that they lacked generalized knowledge and did not share assumptions on the purpose nor uses of the described records.
    • Organizing geographic information: The creation of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure

      Bishop, Bradley Wade; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      Prior to government regulations issued in OMB Circular A-16 in 1990, the organization and dissemination of geospatial data collected by the United States' governments were unregulated and informal. Circular A-16 called for the creation of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and charged the FGDC with creating and implementing metadata standards for geospatial data. The importance of geospatial interoperability and metadata standardization between agencies was amplified in 1994 with EO 12906. EO 12906 called for the creation of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). A Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) is the coordination of the creation, collection, dissemination, and storage of spatial data between stakeholders in a spatial data community (Williamson, Rajabifard, and Binns 2005). This study explores the choices made by the FGDC on how to classify geospatial data across agencies and attempts to assess compliance among federal, state, and local governments to metadata standards in the creation of the NSDI.
    • Performance tags -- who's running the show?

      Tonkin, Emma; Tourte, Gregory J. L.; Zollers, Alla; Lussky, Joan (2008)
      We describe a pilot study which specifically examines the prevalence and characteristics of performance tags on several sites. Identifying post-coordination of tags as a useful step in the study of this phenomenon, as well as other approaches to leveraging tags based on text and/or sentiment analysis, we demonstrate an approach to automation of this process, postcoordinating (segmenting) terms by means of a probabilistic model based around Markov chains. The effectiveness of this approach to parsing is evaluated with respect to the wide range of constructions visible on various services. Several candidate approaches for the latter stages of automated classification are identified.
    • A preliminary investigation of image indexing: The influence of domain knowledge, indexer experience and image characteristics

      Beaudoin, Joan; Lussky, Joan (2008)
      This study concerns image indexing and the impact of indexer experience levels and subject expertise on interindexer consistency and term selection. While the inherent complexities of applying terms to images are broadly acknowledged few studies have addressed interindexer consistency of visual materials. Two studies to investigate this topic are those of Markey (1984) and Wells-Angerer (2005). Markey's investigation looked at the indexing terms applied by thirty-nine individuals to one hundred images of medieval works on three different categories (objects, expressional, events). A low percentage of agreement of terms was reported by Markey, with an average of seven percent for exact term matches, and thirteen percent for conceptual matches in indexing terms. In a study assessing the influence of indexer subject knowledge on image retrieval rates of online museum collections Wells-Angerer (2005) investigated the terms applied to ten works of art by thirty participants falling into three categories of image indexers (expert, knowledgeable, novice). Wells-Angerer found the terms applied by indexers with the highest level of knowledge about the objects in the collections (scholars, curators and collection staff) had retrieval success rates of approximately sixteen percent. Indexer retrieval rates for those who had less subject knowledge were considerably lower, at approximately five percent (Wells-Angerer, 2005). The results of this investigation indicate that indexer experience and subject expertise ought to be considered in discussions of interindexer consistency. Markey's study has been used on several occasions to support the hypothesis that image indexing produces low returns for the effort involved in the work. This is remarkable as Markey (1984) states that '[t]he use of inexperienced indexers and non-subject specialists in this study may have diminished interindexer consistency scores.' The limited number of studies investigating the practices of image indexers and the conflicting results of these two studies indicate additional research is warranted in the area of image indexing. Thus, the present study was undertaken in order to explore some of the issues at work which influence image indexing. Using a Web-based questionnaire 140 participants provided demographic data and indexing terms for eight images. Images of cultural works formed the focus of the study. Several documentary style photographs were included, however, to assess the influence of an image's subject accessibility and mode of representation on the terms chosen by the study's participants. For data analysis purposes the participants were divided into several groups according to their subject expertise (2 or less courses or 11 or more courses with an art/cultural focus) or their professional experience (self identification as an image indexer). The data collected from the participants has been analyzed using qualitative and descriptive statistics. Further analysis of the data using quantitative methods is in process. Subject expertise and indexing experience were found to have an impact on the terms applied to images. The number of terms applied and the co-occurrence of terms was related to the level of indexing experience and subject expertise of participants. On the most basic level of analysis, the experienced image indexers provided on average the highest number of terms per image, with the subject experts supplying a slightly reduced number and the subject novice participants the fewest. Co-occurrence of applied terms among participant groups also followed this pattern. In addition, the images themselves were found to have an influence on the number of terms applied and the interindexer consistency achieved by the indexers of these images. The legibility of images with easily accessible subjects and realistic representation, while scoring well in terms of interindexer consistency were found to receive fewer term applications by the image indexers and the subject experts. This finding suggests that while interindexer consistency might be highest among skilled indexers and those with solid domain knowledge, a broader range of terms were sometimes applied to images with readily accessible subjects by those individuals who lacked training or subject expertise. Other interesting findings of the study point to the various kinds of terms applied by the three groups. The subject novices applied a greater number of generic terms to the images with the indexers and subject experts providing a higher number of terms which identified specific features of the image. Finally, while the number of emotive or interpretive terms applied to the images was found to be very low across all three groups the subject novices applied these terms more often than the other participant groups. The results of this study provide a preliminary account of the influence of subject knowledge and indexing experience on image indexing.
    • Push and Pull in "The Attention Economy"

      Breitenstein, Mikel; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      Pull technologies expect users to go to the source, often a static source such as a library catalog, to get the information they need. Push technologies deliver to users some individualized information, usually, that the user might want. Marketers and information-delivery services â the user may or may not have chosen to enroll -- have profiles that target some users to match with some information. The Attention Economy, a model that occurred about the same time as Push/Pull models, holds that attention to quickly shifting forces in affluent society is a commodity that is really more powerful than information control. User-generated information competes with standard sources and makes information-creators out of information-users in new ways. A number of questions are vital in the dilemma of how traditional library goals and resources, and the work of library professionals, can be merged with ad hoc and user-based information and new delivery structures and technologies.
    • Reflecting and Shaping World Views: Historical Treatments in Classification

      Lee, Hur-Li; Gu, Kangnan; Shah, Zarina Mohd; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      Examples of historical treatments in classification and categorization are abundant in our lives. In American pop culture, we often use decades as a framework to define, understand and interpret fashions, ideas, events, and issues. The 1960s, for example, represent to many Americans a time commonly associated with youth and rebellion and the first vivid images from the decade that come to mind include rock â n roll music and hippies. Another example is the simple categorizations applied by the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) on their Website (http://www.nmwa.org/collection/) to organize its permanent collection into: the 16th-17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. In todayâ s widely used library classifications (e.g., Dewey Decimal Classification and Library of Congress Classification), historical treatments have always been a standard feature, seen throughout the schedules (e.g., 372.904 for â elementary education in the 20th centuryâ in DDC and PN720 for â literary history in Renaissanceâ in LCC).
    • Signal and Noise: Social Construction and Representation

      Tonkin, Emma; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      This paper attempts to draw a quick sketch of some of the research that relates to the state of social tagging research today. The result is intended to be representative rather than exhaustive. The goal of indexing consistency is discussed and examined with respect to the specificities of differing indexing systems. The relation of indexing consistency with 'language-in-use' is discussed. We then proceed to take a look at a few examples of much older systems that relate closely with the lessons now being learned in social tagging today, in order to situate the present activity in its historical context â and examine a few approaches used for text-based search-and-retrieval and their relevance to tag corpora. To conclude, some distinctions between personal, social and global information management are discussed.
    • Status of Health Information Classification for Consumer Information Retrieval

      Whetstone, Melinda; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      With a growing movement toward patient-centric health care and patient empowerment, consumers are encouraged to take an active role in their health care. In fact, nearly 80% of Americans are taking to the Internet to search for health information (Fox, 2006). In addition to the Internet, consumers have access to a growing number of health search engines and professional biomedical databases via health science libraries. However, the consumer’s ability to efficiently retrieve information that is understandable and pertinent to their query is hindered (Volk, 2007) for reasons that include inexperience with “technical terminology,” (Zeng & Tse, 2006) and poor database usability (Smith, 2007). Several organizations are engaged in efforts to refine capabilities to match consumer health queries with accurate information (Smith, 2007; Zeng & Tse, 2006; Zeng et al., 2006). However, as more consumers seek health information in this growing empowered climate and more information is made available, there is an increasing danger that the consumer will become more confused and less able to find pertinent information. This paper explores three areas: it examines the current biomedical ontologies that are used for consumer health searches; it looks at the current means for health information retrieval (IR); and it explores ongoing projects that serve to improve consumer search capabilities. To evaluate the effects of multiple ontologies and search methods, a consumer’s health query was posed using several health search methods.
    • Supporting Sense-making with Tools for Structuring a Concept Space: A Proposal for Design and Evaluation

      Zhang, Pengyi; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      This paper describes a research proposal to investigate sense-making processes in complex situations with the assistance of information systems. It presents the design of a sense-making tool to be integrated with a news retrieval system. The proposed user study aims to understand how users use this tool to establish and organize their conceptual models of a network of concepts and relationships.
    • When More is Better: A Counter-Narrative Regarding Keyword and Subject Retrieval in Digitized Diaries

      Knott Malone, Cheryl; Lussky, Joan (2007)
      Many commercial full-text databases and digital libraries provide keyword and preferred-term (subject) indexing, but few allow participatory tagging of content by users or provide ontologies in support of natural language information retrieval. Consequently, keyword and subject searching strategies still matter. But keyword searching, because it can yield results high in recall and low in precision, is often seen as a beginner's strategy best replaced by subject searching using authoritative headings and descriptors. In certain circumstance explored in this essay, keyword searching may be quite effective in and of itself for retrieving digitized primary sources for the study of history.