Getting Ready for Session #8 (September 23, 1996)
Representation: Information and its Attributes
Our introduction to representation continues. This selection from Meadow provides an overview of the basic issues in the information field. The article surveys commonly used approaches for dealing with those issues with some discussion of representation approaches/problems that you may not be familiar with (e.g., finger prints).
Meadow, C.T. (1992). Text information retrieval systems. Orlando: Academic Press.
Chapter 3: Representation of Information
This chapter addresses the question of what information to represent to capture the "essence" of a situation and how. So, it considers such questions as: What pieces of the situation do we need to capture (e.g., in a University situation students might be important)? For those individual pieces of the situation that are captured, what characteristics will be essential (e.g., for a student, name or ID# might be important; what about shoe size or color of eyes?)? For chosen characteristics, how will they be specified (e.g., what will the ID# look like)?
Chapter 4: Attribute Content and Values
This chapter gives an overview of the problems of specifying the symbols employed as the contents or values of attributes and their influence on information retrieval.
NOTE: I will open this session by asking for questions about the material. Then, in order to help you begin to develop a personal sense of what representation means, I will divide you into teams to consider an information representation problem: Suppose we magically find ourselves transported to the film capital of the world. . . uh . . . Wilmington, North Carolina?? Here we are faced with the problem of designing an information system that will support the production of films and television shows by helping the music director and others select musical themes.
Given a collection of music containing recorded music (much like that which I have been playing before class), what pieces of "information" would we need to include in such an information system and what might those pieces of information look like (format)?