Semantic Analysis: Tools / Techniques

Automated Semantic Analysis of Semi-Structured Data
Research Method and Preliminary Findings

As an aid in understanding how computerized subject analysis might be approached, this paper suggests using the three-layer framework that has been accepted and applied in image analysis, as developed by Erwin Panofsky (Figure 2). In the previous section we indicated the wide use of Panofsky’s three-layers framework. When the three layers of object interpretation are simplified by CCO, they become: I. Description (referring to the generic elements depicted in or by the work); II. Identification (referring to the specific subject); III. Interpretation (referring to the meaning or themes represented by the subjects and including a conceptual analysis of what the work is about). We aligned the CCO layers with the summarized Panofsky layers in the following figure:

Table 1. Panofsky’s three-layer framework and the simplified layers used by CCO.*

* Source: Based on Panofsky (1939, 14-15) and Chapter 4 of Baca et al. (2006).

This paper reports on part of the analysis of two research samples from the point of view of Panofsky’s theory. The hypothesis is that the computer-assisted semantic analysis has great potential in generating subject access at the “description” and “identification” levels.

This work was supported by a grant from IMLS. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.