s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: Superhero Metrics, Part III: Advantages

Monday, July 04, 2011

Superhero Metrics, Part III: Advantages

One of the biggest advantages of this methodology is precision of meaning, which is the main disadvantage of keyword searches. So, Wikipedia neatly separates out the pages for “wolverine,” the animal (46 links); Wolverine, the X-Man (37 links); and the Wolverines who are the mascot of Utah Valley University (1 link, to page in Farsi, of all languages).

Another advantage is that the initial connections between wikis are made by humans, which prevents two words that look the same but have different meanings from being matched up.

Third, even though the Wikipedias of the world are freely editable, these results would be fairly difficult to fake, because you’d have to be able to write about a subject in many different languages.

Lastly, you can use this methodology to get results for any topic that has an entry in the English Wikipedia (although it will obviously be less useful for more obscure topics).

However, there are also a number of disadvantages to this methodology, which I'll cover in Part IV.


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