Monday, 1:30pm


Investigating an Author’s Influence Using Citation Analyses: Christopher Alexander (1964-2014)

Christine E. Wania
The College at Brockport, State University of New York, United States of America


Citation analyses are used to investigate the influence of architect Christopher Alexander over the period of 1964-2014. Alexander’s work has been so influential that he has been cited by nearly 2000 source items in the Web of Science Core Collection, by Thomson Reuters. Alexander’s work has had a profound interdisciplinary reach. Citation analyses reveal that scholars in computing disciplines have cited Alexander’s work more than scholars in any other discipline including architecture. Alexander’s most cited work, A Pattern Language, is one of two volumes that Alexander refers to as an indivisible whole. These analyses reveal very different citation patterns for the two volumes of this indivisible whole. Although the difference is measurable, in terms of number of citations, we cannot say why this is so. However, the results of these analyses raise several questions including why we, as a community, have for the most part cited only a piece of this indivisible whole. The citation patterns support that this series has been largely reduced to one of its parts, when possibly the whole is greater than the sum of its parts or one of its parts. In this paper I propose that we might begin to see the potential benefits of pattern languages in computing disciplines when we take holistic approach, considering and applying the theory as described in all of the volumes in the series.

CharaParser+EQ: Performance Evaluation Without Gold Standard

Hong Cui¹, Wasila Dahdul², T Alexander Dececchi², Nizar Ibrahim³, Paula Mabee², James P. Balhoff4, Hariharan Gopalakrishnan¹

¹University of Arizona, USA; ²University of South Dakota, USA; ³University of Chicago, USA; 4University of North Carolina, USA


To make phenotypic characters of organisms widely useful for computerized biology research, biocurators manually convert character descriptions to a structured format, for example the Entity-Quality (EQ) format. The manual approach is time consuming and affected by inter-curator variations. In this paper we report a software application, CharaParser+EQ, to our knowledge the first software that produces EQ statements from textual character descriptions. We report a recent experiment that evaluates the performance of the software against three experienced biocurators. While the software is still far from being able to compete with biocurators on this highly intellectual task, the results show (1) CharaParser+EQ’s performance (precision and recall) is greatly improved compared to a previous version, (2) the completeness of the ontologies used in the process has significant impact both on the software’s EQ generation performance and on the agreement among curators, and (3) unlimited access to external knowledge (published papers, books) by curators has no significant impact on inter-curator agreements. A detailed error analysis that compares machine and curator generated EQs is included.

Controlled Vocabularies for Scientific Data: Users and Desired Functionalities

Yue Zhang, Adrian Ogletree, Jane Greenberg, Chelcie Rowell
Drexel University, United States of America


Controlled vocabularies have great applicability for organizing and providing access to scientific data. This paper presents research examining the controlled vocabulary use and desired application features specific to scientific data. A survey was conducted, gathering data from U.S. DataNet participants and other data stakeholder communities. Results indicate that participants see controlled vocabularies as valued tools. Participants also reported an interest in repository technology that provides access to multiple vocabularies for scientific data.