Automating personal categorization using artificial neural networks

Dina Goren-Bar, Tsvi Kuflik, Dror Lev, Peretz Shoval

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Organizations as well as personal users invest a great deal of time in assigning documents they read or write to categories. Automatic document classification that matches user subjective classification is widely used, but much challenging research still remain to be done. The self-organizing map (SOM) is an artificial neural network (ANN) that is mathematically characterized by transforming high-dimensional data into two-dimensional representation. This enables automatic clustering of the input, while preserving higher order topology. A closely related method is the Learning Vector Quantization (LVQ) algorithm, which uses supervised learning to maximize correct data classification. This study evaluates and compares the application of SOM and LVQ to automatic document classification, based on a subjectively predefined set of clusters in a specific domain. A set of documents from an organization, manually clustered by a domain expert, was used in the experiment. Results show that in spite of the subjective nature of human categorization, automatic document clustering methods match with considerable success subjective, personal clustering, the LVQ method being more advantageous.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-198
Number of pages11
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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