Concept mapping through a hub: Coli-conc pilot study

Uma Balakrishnan, Verbundzentrale des GBV (Germany)
Dagobert Soergel, University at Buffalo (USA)

Abstract | Concept mapping through a hub is based on expressing each concept from any participating KOS through a description logic (DL) formula, a combination of elemental concepts drawn from a common classification of elemental concepts (such as a faceted classification). Complex DL formulas also give the role of each elemental concept in the compound. The resulting DL formulas are assembled in the hub; reasoning over DL formulas discovers concept relationships within and between KOS, including concept mappings. DL formulas are linked to concepts from participating KOS. KOS concepts linked to the same DL formula are mapped as skos:exactMatch. (Other types of SKOS mappings can be inferred from the relationships between DL formulas). Coli-conc is an integrated system for the collection, management, and mapping of KOS; it stores individual KOS and the mappings between KOS imported from various sources or created in Coli-conc with computer assistance. We will report on an exploratory qualitative study comparing mappings created through a hub with mappings available in Coli-conc. We drew a list of 50 examples for which Col-conc has three pairs of mappings {DDC — RVK, DDC — GND, RVK — GND} from the subject areas Psychology, Law, Education, Transportation, and Medicine. For each of the involved classes/ subject headings we created a simple DL formula. In the process we built an ad-hoc hierarchical list of elemental concepts. We will report observations and conclusions from inspecting the results, comparing the mappings based on DL formulas with the mappings given in Coli- conc.

Bio | Uma Balakrrishnan, holds a Master degree in LIS (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen). She is in charge of subject indexing and KOS related projects at the Head office of the Common Library Network GBV (VZG). She is also the project coordinator of the mapping project coli-conc. Her responsibilities and interests include KOS, semantic web, metadata standards and interoperability and users search interface. She represents the VZG at the Expert Group for Subject indexing, the GBV Expert Group for Indexing and Information, the European Dewey User Group and the Regensburg Verbund Classification User group.

Bio | Dagobert Soergel is Professor, Department of Information Science, Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo since 2009 and Professor emeritus, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, where he worked 1970 – 2010. 2014 – 2019 he served as consultant to the World Bank Information Technology Services (ITS), focusing on developing a corporate ontology, enterprise search, and text analytics. For 60 years he has worked on classification, ontologies, and thesauri; information retrieval and digital libraries; sensemaking; and relevance both practically and theoretically. He authored the still-standard text- and handbook Indexing Languages and Thesauri. Construction and Maintenance (Wiley 1974) and Organizing Information (Academic Press 1985), which received the ASIS Best Book Award, and more than 100 papers and presentations. He was the chief architect for two major thesauri, the Alcohol and Other Drug Thesaurus ( and the Harvard Business Thesaurus. He emphasizes connections in a wide field of ideas, including Knowledge Organization, relevance. sensemaking, learning, problem solving, and IT support for new ways of learning and assessment. Awards: 1997 American Society of Information Science Award of Merit (highest award, of ASIS, given for life time achievement);  2009 Los Angeles Chapter of ASIST Contributions to Information Science (CISTA) Award (

Event Timeslots (1)

Day 2 | Friday, June 21
Uma Balakrishnan, Verbundzentrale des GBV (Germany), Dagobert Soergel, University at Buffalo (USA)

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