Classifying the World

From Algolit

by Algolit

Sources on Gitlab

Librarian Paul Otlet's life work was the construction of the Mundaneum. This mechanical collective brain would house and distribute everything ever committed to paper. Each document was classified following the Universal Decimal Classification. Using telegraphs and especially, sorters, the Mundaneum would have been able to answer any question from anyone.

With the collection of digitized publications we received from the Mundaneum, we built a prediction machine that tries to classify the sentence you type in one of the main categories of Universal Decimal Classification. You also witness how the machine 'thinks'. During the exhibition, this model is regularly retrained using the cleaned and annotated data visitors added in Cleaning for Poems and The Annotator.

The main classes of the Universal Decimal Classification system are:

0 - Science and Knowledge. Organization. Computer Science. Information Science. Documentation. Librarianship. Institutions. Publications

1 - Philosophy. Psychology

2 - Religion. Theology

3 - Social Sciences

4 - vacant

5 - Mathematics. Natural Sciences

6 - Applied Sciences. Medicine, Technology

7 - The Arts. Entertainment. Sport

8 - Linguistics. Literature

9 - Geography. History


Concept, code, interface: Sarah Garcin, Gijs de Heij, An Mertens