Automatic maintenance of category hierarchy

Hai Zhuge, Lei He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Category hierarchy is an abstraction mechanism for efficiently managing large-scale resources. In an open environment, a category hierarchy will inevitably become inappropriate for managing resources that constantly change with unpredictable pattern. An inappropriate category hierarchy will mislead the management of resources. The increasing dynamicity and scale of online resources increase the requirement of automatically maintaining category hierarchy. Previous studies about category hierarchy mainly focus on either the generation of category hierarchy or the classification of resources under a pre-defined category hierarchy. The automatic maintenance of category hierarchy has been neglected. Making abstraction among categories and measuring the similarity between categories are two basic behaviours to generate a category hierarchy. Humans are good at making abstraction but limited in ability to calculate the similarities between large-scale resources. Computing models are good at calculating the similarities between large-scale resources but limited in ability to make abstraction. To take both advantages of human view and computing ability, this paper proposes a two-phase approach to automatically maintaining category hierarchy within two scales by detecting the internal pattern change of categories. The global phase clusters resources to generate a reference category hierarchy and gets similarity between categories to detect inappropriate categories in the initial category hierarchy. The accuracy of the clustering approaches in generating category hierarchy determines the rationality of the global maintenance. The local phase detects topical changes and then adjusts inappropriate categories with three local operations. The global phase can quickly target inappropriate categories top-down and carry out cross-branch adjustment, which can also accelerate the local-phase adjustments. The local phase detects and adjusts the local-range inappropriate categories that are not adjusted in the global phase. By incorporating the two complementary phase adjustments, the approach can significantly improve the topical cohesion and accuracy of category hierarchy. A new measure is proposed for evaluating category hierarchy considering not only the balance of the hierarchical structure but also the accuracy of classification. Experiments show that the proposed approach is feasible and effective to adjust inappropriate category hierarchy. The proposed approach can be used to maintain the category hierarchy for managing various resources in dynamic application environment. It also provides an approach to specialize the current online category hierarchy to organize resources with more specific categories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Early online date31 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Category
  • Category hierarchy
  • classification
  • maintenance
  • resource space model


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