Exploring the information space of cultural collections using formal concept analysis
Within the cultural informatics community, there is a strong desire to mine and understand relationships within and among collections of objects. In this paper we describe a case study of applied Formal Concept Analysis to cultural heritage and art collections. We base our inter-disciplinary research on our development of a navigation frame work that drives the Virtual Museum of the Pacific - an FCA-based application that employs a conceptual neighbourhood paradigm for browsing concept lattices. We also utilise a feature called conceptual similarity that allows users to search for similar objects and hence promote knowledge discovery of the objects within the collection. We describe how we can construct a meaningful information space derived from museum documentation while considering complexity and associated performance issues of large formal contexts. We report the resulting lattice structure,user experience and relevance of our FCA-based application in browsing and exploring objects from a cultural domain. Our research is an applied case study of term extraction and context creation based on data-sets from the Australian Museum and Powerhouse Museum collections.
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