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XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web by Jack Park, Sam Hunting

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Information and Structure Are Inseparable

Excuse me for saying so, but there is no such thing as “unstructured information.” Even the simplest kind of information has a sequence in which there is a beginning, a middle, and an end, some concept of unit, and, usually, several hierarchical levels of subunits. Information always has at least one intended mode of interpretation, and the interpretability of information is always utterly dependent on the interpreter's ability to detect structure.

Written and spoken natural languages have structures, although their structures are so subtle, variable, nuanced, and driven by human context that computers are still unable to understand natural languages reliably, despite many years of intense effort by many ...

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