Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thesaurus Statistics

This probably requires a small bit of explanation...
  • Total number of terms: Every term in the thesaurus (obviously). This includes 20,432 dates (e.g., 2008-07-27). Since these have relationships and notes just like other terms, I have no problem including them in the count.
  • Non-postable terms: These are what is known as the lead-in vocabulary. Disneyland Omnibus would lead one to the postable term Omnibus.
  • Top terms: A key part of the thesaurus is the hierarchy, and this is the number of terms at the top. Now, with the structure I'm using it shouldn't be as high as it is. I'd like to have only 10-15 top terms. A large number of the top terms, then, are terms I've picked up while going through sources that I still need to fit into the conceptual structure.
  • Orphan terms: These are a subset of the top terms that don't have relations to other terms. This number should be 0.
  • Subject categories: This is another means of classification outside of the hierarchy. For instance, for people and organizations in the thesaurus I have a "Role" classification. The Roles include Atmosphere Talent, Cast Member, lessee personnel, and Retlaw personnel.
  • Hierarchical relationships: Hierarchy is used for structure and to facilitate searching. Fantasy on Parade has broader terms events, promotions, and programs by names (a term which then functions something like an authority list) and parades.
  • Equivalence relationships: The Omnibus example above is an equivalent relationship--where I've defined that one term can be used for two terms. This needn't be confined to nomenclature issues. If I wanted lower specificity, I could have Omnibus (along with Fire Engine, Horseless Carriage (Red), etc.) point to Main Street Vehicles. But with this project I've been much more inclined to address distinctions than to lump things together.
  • Associative relationships: These types of relations call attention to other terms that might be of interest. In the Library of Congress Subject Headings, these are just RT--related terms. While I do denote some relations this way, I've also defined a fair number of more specific relationships. For example, Dominguez, Ron PFMD [performed as/in] Davy Crockett (walk-around character). Fantasia Gardens PRED [had predecessor] Motor Boat Cruise. (In time I might get more specific and create a Motor Boat Cruise Dock term.)


Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, I guess I never truly appreciated how much goes into compiling information in a useful (and accurate) way!

Makes my brain hurt! ;-)

outsidetheberm said...

Okay, we are SO ready for this book over here! Talk about a useful tool.

Jason Schultz said...

Major: I'd say I put at least forty hours per week into this... sometimes more!

OTB: Obviously, if you need anything and think I might know, don't hesitate to ask. (No, I don't know anything about your Golden Horseshoe painting!)

outsidetheberm said...

Darn! That puzzling painting is probably the most mysterious piece we have here!