Human concept cognition and semantic relations in the unified medical language system: A coherence analysis.
Description: There is almost a universal agreement among scholars in information retrieval (IR) research that knowledge representation needs improvement. As core component of an IR system, improvement of the knowledge representation system has so far involved manipulation of this component based on principles such as vector space, probabilistic approach, inference network, and language modeling, yet the required improvement is still far from fruition. One promising approach that is highly touted to offer a potential solution exists in the cognitive paradigm, where knowledge representation practice should involve, or start from, modeling the human conceptual system. This study based on two related cognitive theories: the theory-based approach to concept representation and the psychological theory of semantic relations, ventured to explore the connection between the human conceptual model and the knowledge representation model (represented by samples of concepts and relations from the unified medical language system, UMLS). Guided by these cognitive theories and based on related and appropriate data-analytic tools, such as nonmetric multidimensional scaling, hierarchical clustering, and content analysis, this study aimed to conduct an exploratory investigation to answer four related questions. Divided into two groups, a total of 89 research participants took part in two sets of cognitive tasks. The first group (49 participants) sorted 60 food names into categories followed by simultaneous description of the derived categories to explain the rationale for category judgment. The second group (40 participants) performed sorting 47 semantic relations (the nonhierarchical associative types) into 5 categories known a priori. Three datasets resulted as a result of the cognitive tasks: food-sorting data, relation-sorting data, and free and unstructured text of category descriptions. Using the data analytic tools mentioned, data analysis was carried out and important results and findings were obtained that offer plausible explanations to the 4 research questions. Major results include the following: (a) through discriminant ...
Date: August 2007
Creator: Assefa, Shimelis G.
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Partner: UNT Libraries