Semantic Apparatus – Complex networks reveal emergent interdisciplinary knowledge in Wikipedia

Cited by Lee Sonogan

File:Wikipedia Logo 1.0.png - Wikipedia

Abstract by Gustavo A. Schwartz 

In the last 2 decades, a great amount of work has been done on data mining and knowledge discovery using complex networks. These works have provided insightful information about the structure and evolution of scientific activity, as well as important biomedical discoveries. However, interdisciplinary knowledge discovery, including disciplines other than science, is more complicated to implement because most of the available knowledge is not indexed. Here, a new method is presented for mining Wikipedia to unveil implicit interdisciplinary knowledge to map and understand how different disciplines (art, science, literature) are related to and interact with each other. Furthermore, the formalism of complex networks allows us to characterise both individual and collective behaviour of the different elements (people, ideas, works) within each discipline and among them. The results obtained agree with well-established interdisciplinary knowledge and show the ability of this method to boost quantitative studies. Note that relevant elements in different disciplines that rarely directly refer to each other may nonetheless have many implicit connections that impart them and their relationship with new meaning. Owing to the large number of available works and to the absence of cross-references among different disciplines, tracking these connections can be challenging. This approach aims to bridge this gap between the large amount of reported knowledge and the limited human capacity to find subtle connections and make sense of them.

Publication: Humanities and Social Sciences Communications (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: 25 May 2021 Doi: (Plenty more sections, figures and references in this article)

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