Navigating Context, Pathways and Relationships in Museum Collections using Formal Concept Analysis

  • Richard J. Cole (Author)
    Amazon Inc, Seattle, WA, USA
  • Frithjof Dau (Author)
    SAP Research, Dresden, Germany
  • Jon Ducrou (Author)
    Amazon Inc, Brisbane, Australia
  • Peter W. Eklund (Author)
    Deakin University, Geelong, Australia
  • Tim Wray (Author)
    IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Identifiers (Article)


The digital medium allows visitors, curators and art historians to gain new insights into their collections through data analysis and rich, interactive visualizations. Motivated by the rise of large-scale cultural heritage collections that have emerged on the Web, we argue that Formal Concept Analysis can be used to highlight the relationships between objects and their features within digital art collections and provide a means for visitors to explore these collections via interactive, narrated pathways. Our work presents four research projects that span 10 years from 2005 - 2015 – ImageSleuth, The Virtual Museum of the Pacific, A Place for Art and a scalability study of Formal Concept Analysis as applied to a data-set from the Brooklyn Museum. Our approach is based on the idea that much of the meaning that can be interpreted from museum collections lies – at least in part – in the way that objects are related to one another. Our work examines how Formal Concept Analysis can drive explorative, narrative-based visitor experiences and reveal new insights into cultural heritage collections.




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data visualization, collections, interactive, cultural heritage, museum, formal concept analysis
How to Cite
Cole , Richard J., Frithjof Dau, Jon Ducrou, Peter W. Eklund, and Tim Wray. 2019. “Navigating Context, Pathways and Relationships in Museum Collections Using Formal Concept Analysis”. International Journal for Digital Art History, no. 4 (December):5.13-5.27.