Self-emergence of knowledge trees: Extraction of the Wikipedia hierarchies

Lev Muchnik*, Royi Itzhack, Sorin Solomon, Yoram Louzoun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The rapid accumulation of knowledge and the recent emergence of new dynamic and practically unmoderated information repositories have rendered the classical concept of the hierarchal knowledge structure irrelevant and impossible to impose manually. This led to modern methods of data location, such as browsing or searching, which conceal the underlying information structure. We here propose methods designed to automatically construct a hierarchy from a network of related terms. We apply these methods to Wikipedia and compare the hierarchy obtained from the article network to the complementary acyclic category layer of the Wikipedia and show an excellent fit. We verify our methods in two networks with no a priori hierarchy (the E. Coli genetic regulatory network and the C. Elegans neural network) and a network of function libraries of modern computer operating systems that are intrinsically hierarchical and reproduce a known functional order.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number016106
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number1
StatePublished - 13 Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


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