s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: Superhero Metrics, Part IV: Applications

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Superhero Metrics, Part IV: Applications

There are times when you want to work with a binary category—one that defines items as either in the category or out, with no gradations—but there are times that you want to be able to be able to rank items in a category by popularity, prototypicality, etc.

Want to try out a new author? Start with their most popular work. (If you don’t like that, then you probably won’t like their work, in general.) Can’t remember why an actor’s face looks so familiar? Go to imdb and sort their filmography by votes. (Their most popular works—which you’re more likely to have seen—will sort to the top.) Want to become more knowledgeable about opera or any other topic? Start by learning about the most popular stuff so that you have a foundation in the subject.

(I admit, I’m having some trouble writing this section, because wanting to be able to sort items in a category by popularity or some other metric is second nature to me. However, others may have entirely different information needs and searching habits.)

In my last post, I'll write a summary and conclusion.


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