[tdwg-tnc] Testing TCS and some ideas on GUIDs and ontologies: ranking synomymies

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Thu Feb 28 13:29:30 CET 2008

On 28 Feb 2008, at 11:12, Robert Huber wrote:

> I tried to apply the Google PageRank algorithm to synonymies and as a  
> first attempt I calculated what I called TaxonRank. I have provided  
> some more info on this here:
> http://stratigraphynet.blogspot.com/2008/01/how-taxonrank-works.html  
> (+ my geoinformatics community prepared a special volume on ontologies  
> etc and I have also submitted a paper to Computers&Geosciences which  
> will be published soon).
> After seeing the TCS XML output and reading many RDF and ontology  
> related mailing list contributions I wonder if anybody has ever  
> thought about doing something like this before?
> My tests are on synonymy list (concepts) only, but I think similar  
> approaches could lead to interesting results also if applied to e.g.  
> genetics. And..wouldn't be ranking based on such ontologies a killer  
> application for GUIDs?
>  apologies for cross posting..

I've argued in the past (e.g.,  
) that PageRank-style algorithms can be applied to all manner of links,  
and there is research suggesting that even incomplete links can  
generate a useful ranking  
ranking.html ).

I've a manuscript in review for Briefings in Bioinformatics that  
applies PageRank to rank some ant specimens, based on links to images,  
sequences, and publications. I think there's enormous scope for  
exploring link graphs, and this is yet another reason for GUIDs -- the  
trick is to reuse them across multiple data sets. If we don't have  
shared identifiers then we won't be able to create the links. Hence, it  
is vital that we reuse GUIDs for taxonomic names and literature, or at  
a minimum have a mapping service that links alternative GUIDs for the  
same object. If each biodiversity project issues its own GUIDs for the  
same journal articles, for example, then there won't be many "killer  



Professor Roderic D. M. Page
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