Volume 15, No 2, 2018
Folks Thesauri or Search Thesauri: Why Semantic Search Engines Need Folks Thesauri?
The term ‘folks thesaurus’ was coined as a combination of ‘folks’ and ‘thesaurus’. A folks thesaurus puts terms into context by defining a variety of semantic relationships among the thesaurus terms. The objective of this study is to propose and present a conceptual basis from which it will be possible to build a folks thesaurus. The folks thesaurus takes its terminology and usage from a variety of sources (e.g., users' search queries, traditional thesauri, Wikipedia categories, folksonomies, social tagging, hashtags, and log file analysis of search engines). Folks thesaurus describing subject content can play a vital role in supporting web indexing and information retrieval. Folks thesauri are useful in bridging the gap that exists between the concepts presented by authors and the conceptual terms presented by a user/searcher. Folks thesaurus limits the terms available and increases the possibility that the query will use appropriate terms. If the folks thesaurus has structure in the form of associative or hierarchical tree structure and semantic relationships such as broader terms (BT), narrower terms (NT) or related terms (RT), these may also help the user in navigation through hierarchical semantic relationships and finding an appropriate query expression. If a query is too inclusive, then narrower terms may be substituted to refine the query. On the other hand, a query returning too few results can be broadened through the substitution of broader terms. Related terms may also be an aid in navigation and query construction.
Keywords: Search thesaurus; Collaborative thesaurus; User-generated thesaurus; Social thesaurus; Social tagging; Folksonomies; Social indexing; Semantic relationships