EMERGENT COMMUNITY STRUCTURE IN SOCIAL TAGGING SYSTEMS
VITO D. P. SERVEDIO
A distributed classification paradigm known as collaborative tagging has been widely adopted in new Web applications designed to manage and share online resources. Users of these applications organize resources (Web pages, digital photographs, academic papers) by associating with them freely chosen text labels, or tags. Here we leverage the social aspects of collaborative tagging and introduce a notion of resource distance based on the collective tagging activity of users. We collect data from a popular system and perform experiments showing that our definition of distance can be used to build a weighted network of resources with a detectable community structure. We show that this community structure clearly exposes the semantic relations among resources. The communities of resources that we observe are a genuinely emergent feature, resulting from the uncoordinated activity of a large number of users, and their detection paves the way for mapping emergent semantics in social tagging systems.
Folksonomy, collaborative tagging, emergent semantics, online communities, Web 2.0
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