SIGIA-L Mail Archives: [Sigia-l] Distributed thesaurus?
[Sigia-l] Distributed thesaurus?
From: Travis Wilson (trav_at_ciaheadquarters.com)
Date: Sat Sep 21 2002 - 13:30:24 EDT
An interesting discussion on the XFML mailing list (xfml.org) has got me to
the point where I want a single distributed thesaurus to exist on the net.
You know how each institution has its own controlled vocabulary of terms,
which is a self-contained graph of terms and their relationships? I want a
standard syntax by which I can link my terms to terms in other people's
thesauri. Those links would comply with conventional thesaurus
relationships (RT/BT/NT/etc), so the end result would be one huge
(To stave off one possible question, there would be no "master node".
Thesauri are generalized nondirectional graphs which, thank god, fight
against notions of single-parent hierarchy. A "master node" would make as
much sense as a "master site" for the web.)
For example, there was a project at CERES a few years ago, the overwhelming
destination of a google on 'distributed thesaurus'. The deliverable was a
global thesaurus of bio terms, but its broad technological goal was just
what I want, interoperability between thesauri. It had loftier goals I
don't even need, such as a client-server protocol to query external
thesauri. Has there been any progress on this since 1999, and does anyone
XFML is the most promising recent development effort I've seen in this
area, but I wonder if anyone has seen another that might be a potential
standard. I'm looking at Karl while I ask this, but of course it's an open
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:24 EST