Nov 2006

Knowledge Elicitation: playing with cards

If you want to work with knowledge, you need firstly to 'extract' it. No doubt about that. There're various techniques for doing this, and a whole research area called knowledge elicitation. I've recently had an inspiring meeting with Gordon Rugg, who convinced me it was worth spending time to validate my ontology, using a card sorting KA technique. I started this morning, and it is a lot of fun I must say.. Now I know what psychologists feel when they spend hours and hours interviewing people... it's something like digging the ground, from the point of view of an archaeologist. Anyway, card-sorting is quite an interesting technique (a special issue of Expert Systems is completely dedicated to it). In a nutshell, card sorting involves categorizing a set of pictures, objects or labelled cards into distinct groups using a single criterion. The results can be very intriguing..

Picture sorts were used to investigate perceptions of women’s office clothes, with a sample of ten male and ten female subjects who normally worked in an office environment. The pictures on the cards were taken from catalogues, and showed women’s outfits which might be worn in an office. The subjects sorted the cards repeatedly and generated criteria and categories of their own choice. Some of the criteria and categories had not been previously reported in the clothing research literature. Over half of the male subjects, but none of the female subjects, used ‘married=unmarried woman’ as a sorting criterion, although only one of the images sorted showed a wedding ring. A significantly higher proportion of male than of female subjects used dichotomous categorization (i.e. sorting the cards into two piles for one or more of the criteria). The reasons for this are obscure, but do not appear to be a simple outcome of males not knowing much about female clothing.

Abstract taken from this paper...

Cite this blog post:

Michele Pasin. Knowledge Elicitation: playing with cards. Blog post on Published on Nov. 30, 2006.

Comments via Github:

See also:


paper  Data integration and disintegration: Managing Springer Nature SciGraph with SHACL and OWL

Industry Track, International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC-17), Vienna, Austria, Oct 2017.

paper  Using Linked Open Data to Bootstrap a Knowledge Base of Classical Texts

WHiSe 2017 - 2nd Workshop on Humanities in the Semantic web (colocated with ISWC17), Vienna, Austria, Oct 2017.

paper  Fitting Personal Interpretation with the Semantic Web: lessons learned from Pliny

Digital Humanities Quarterly, Jan 2017. Volume 11 Number 1


paper  Capturing Knowledge About Philosophy

Fourth International Conference on Knowledge Capture (K-CAP07), Whistler, BC, Canada, Oct 2007. pp. 47-54

paper  PhiloSURFical: browse Wittgensteinʼs Tractatus with the Semantic Web

Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Information - Proceedings of the 30th International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium, Kirchberg, Austria, Aug 2007. pp. 319-335


paper  Theory of Knowledge in the Postfordistic Society

Undergraduate degree thesis in italian (kindly published as a white-paper by ItConsult SRL), Universita Ca' Foscari, Venice, Italy, Sep 2003.