Simpler search in a complex world: Browsing ethnographic videos by freely faceted classmarks

Claudio Gnoli*, Douglas Tudhope, Patrícia de Almeida, Romana Barbui, Ceri Binding, Véronique Blot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Nobel Prize Giorgio Parisi recommends that the complexity of knowledge is reflected in all its levels and in an interdisciplinary way in schools and universities. On the other hand, complexity is often considered to be a hindrance in information retrieval. One method to both represent complexity and enable flexible information retrieval is faceted classification. In particular, the Integrative Levels Classification (ILC) provides ways to index phenomena and relationships among them by combining facets freely in an expressive notation. We have selected a sample of representative YouTube videos that document traditional feasts in Western Europe, and indexed them by ILC faceted compounds. Some of these are intrinsically complex events involving a variety of phenomena at different integrative levels, including animals, regions, artifacts, music, celebrations, religion, etc. We describe “Traditional Europe” (TradEU), a web-based demonstrator by which users can select topics from a set of 5 facets and launch a search in the video index. English equivalents of ILC classmarks for each video are displayed dynamically. Expressive faceted classification is leveraged by PHP scripts. Overall, the demonstrator shows a possible compromise between simplicity of use and intrinsic complexity of indexed contents.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication CEUR Workshop Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 7th ISKO UK Biennial Conference
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)1613-0073
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2024
Event7th ISKO UK Biennial Conference - University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Jul 202325 Jul 2023


Conference7th ISKO UK Biennial Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Complexity
  • ethnography
  • faceted classification
  • Integrative Levels Classification
  • ILC
  • web-based user interfaces


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