An article about tagging in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

Erich Schubert erich.schubert at
Wed Jan 31 11:02:05 CET 2007

> An article which may or may not be relevant for Debtags has been
> published in PNAS:

Judging from the abstract - please at least include the abstract in
such mails - it's not at all revelant to us.

Collaborative tagging has been quickly gaining ground because of its
ability to recruit the activity of web users into effectively
organizing and sharing vast amounts of information. Here we collect
data from a popular system and investigate the statistical properties
of tag cooccurrence. We introduce a stochastic model of user behavior
embodying two main aspects of collaborative tagging: (i) a
frequency-bias mechanism related to the idea that users are exposed to
each other's tagging activity; (ii) a notion of memory, or aging of
resources, in the form of a heavy-tailed access to the past state of
the system. Remarkably, our simple modeling is able to account
quantitatively for the observed experimental features with a
surprisingly high accuracy. This points in the direction of a
universal behavior of users who, despite the complexity of their own
cognitive processes and the uncoordinated and selfish nature of their
tagging activity, appear to follow simple activity patterns.

Debtags isn't about quantitative tagging (i.e. we don't weight tags by
how often users have assigned the tag to a package) and we don't have
user-defined tags. But that combination is exactly what the paper
seems to deal with, users that just reassign the same tags to an
entity again.

best regards,
Erich Schubert
    erich@(|      --      GPG Key ID: 4B3A135C    (o_
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