Relating Different Lists of Terms

There are three different types of relationships in taxonomies: 

Equivalent (Synonyms: “International Business Machines = IBM”)

Hierarchical (Parent/Child : “Computer Manufacturers => IBM”)

Associative (Concept/Concept: “Software Group – Software”)

Heather Hedden’s presentation on taxonomy powered discovery for a recent Boston KM Forum contained an interesting set of examples for how to organize the last type of conceptually related term sets.

Process and agent: Programming – Programmers
Process and instrument: Skiing – Skis
Process and counter-agent: Infections – Antibiotics
Action and property: Environmental cleanup – Pollution
Action and target: Auto repair – Automobiles
Cause and effect: Hurricanes – Flooding
Object and property: Plastics – Elasticity
Raw material and product: Timber – Wood products
Discipline and practitioner: Physics – Physicists
Discipline and object: Literature – Books Continue reading