Online resources of engineering design information are a critical resource for practicing engineers. These online resources often contain references and content associated with technical memos, journal articles and “white papers” of prior engineering projects. However, filtering this stream of information to find the right information appropriate to an engineering issue and the engineer is a time-consuming task. The focus of this research lies in ascertaining tacit knowledge to model the information needs of the users of an engineering information system. It is proposed that the combination of reading time and the semantics of documents accessed by users reflect their tacit knowledge. By combining the computational text analysis tool of Latent Semantic Analysis with analyses of on-line user transaction logs, we introduce the technique of Latent Interest Analysis (LIA) to model information needs based on tacit knowledge. Information needs are modeled by a vector equation consisting of a linear combination of the user’s queries and prior documents downloaded, scaled by the reading time of each document to measure the degree of relevance. A validation study of the LIA model revealed a higher correlation between predicted and actual information needs for our model in comparison to models lacking scaling by reading time and a representation of the semantics of prior accessed documents. The technique was incorporated into a digital library to recommend engineering education materials to users.
Modeling Information Needs in Engineering Databases Using Tacit Knowledge
Contributed by the Engineering Informatix (EIX) Committee for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING. Manuscript received Mar. 2002; Revised Oct. 2002. Associate Editor: S. Urban.
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Song, S., Dong, A., and Agogino, A. (January 2, 2003). "Modeling Information Needs in Engineering Databases Using Tacit Knowledge ." ASME. J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. September 2002; 2(3): 199–207. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1528921
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