In a report by NetworkWorld: 25 leading-edge IT research projects, there is an interesting feature that could significantly advance the world of information architecture, specifically classification of content. (If you click the link and read the article, it is item 15. There are some other gems in there too.)

Researchers at Penn State University have developed software that not only automatically tags photos when they are uploaded, but also automatically updates the tags based on how people interact with the photos over time. In its current state, the researchers claim the system can grow from 40% to 60% accuracy as it learns from user behaviour.

Whilst the research is focused on images, the technology could have major benefits for traditional information sources – documents and web pages. One of the biggest failings of traditional taxonomies and classification systems has been their inability to cope with change. Language continues to evolve: old words are given new meanings, new words are applied to old meanings. Adaptive tagging could introduce a whole new method of relevance ranking to improve search results.

Filed in library under: Information Architecture

Technorati tags: taxonomy; information architecture; metadata

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