Knowledge organization systems in mathematics and in libraries

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Based on the project activities planned in the context of the Specialized Information Service for Mathematics (TIB Hannover, FAU Erlangen, L3S, SUB Göttingen) we give an overview over the history and interplay of subject cataloguing in libraries, the development of computerized methods for metadata processing and the rise of the Semantic Web. We survey various knowledge organization systems such as the Mathematics Subject Classification, the German Authority File, the clustering International Authority File VIAF, and lexical databases such as WordNet and their potential use for mathematics in education and research. We briefly address the difference between thesauri and ontologies and the relations they typically contain from a linguistic perspective. We will then discuss with the audience how the current efforts to represent and handle mathematical theories as semantic objects can help deflect the decline of semantic resource annotation in libraries that has been predicted by some due to the existence of highly performant retrieval algorithms (based on statistical, neuronal, or other big data methods). We will also explore the potential characteristics of a fruitful symbiosis between carefully cultivated kernels of semantic structure and automated methods in order to scale those structures up to the level that is necessary in order to cope with the amounts of digital data found in libraries and in (mathematical) research (e.g., in simulations) today.

Semantics, Knowledge Organizations Systems, Mathematics, Libraries
Kasprzik, A. (2017). Knowledge organization systems in mathematics and in libraries. Zenodo.