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Computer Supported Indexing: A History and Evaluation of NASA's MAI SystemComputer supported indexing systems may be categorized in several ways. One classification scheme refers to them as statistical, syntactic, semantic or knowledge-based. While a system may emphasize one of these aspects, most systems actually combine two or more of these mechanisms to maximize system efficiency. Statistical systems can be based on counts of words or word stems, statistical association, and correlation techniques that assign weights to word locations or provide lexical disambiguation, calculations regarding the likelihood of word co-occurrences, clustering of word stems and transformations, or any other computational method used to identify pertinent terms. If words are counted, the ones of median frequency become candidate index terms. Syntactical systems stress grammar and identify parts of speech. Concepts found in designated grammatical combinations, such as noun phrases, generate the suggested terms. Semantic systems are concerned with the context sensitivity of words in text. The primary goal of this type of indexing is to identify without regard to syntax the subject matter and the context-bearing words in the text being indexed. Knowledge-based systems provide a conceptual network that goes past thesaurus or equivalent relationships to knowing (e.g., in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) system) that because the tibia is part of the leg, a document relating to injuries to the tibia should he indexed to LEG INJURIES, not the broader MeSH term INJURIES, or knowing that the term FEMALE should automatically be added when the term PREGNANCY is assigned, and also that the indexer should be prompted to add either HUMAN or ANIMAL. Another way of categorizing indexing systems is to identify them as producing either assigned- or derived-term indexes.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Silvester, June P.
(RMS Associates Linthicum Heights, MD United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1997
Publication Information
Publication: Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science
Volume: 61
ISBN: 0-8247-2061-X
Subject Category
Documentation And Information Science
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:206517
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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