Relational Taxonomies

You can enhance your parametric-search application to support relational taxonomies (see About Relational Taxonomies). With relational taxonomies, your users can navigate (drill down) through multiple taxonomies at the same time. This implies that when your results page displays the results of the most recent parametric selection, it should also display links to allow the user to browse further, based on any of the taxonomies to which the current result set belongs.

For example, Figure 4-3 shows the display of two automobile-related taxonomies: one of dealership locations, and one of manufacturer, make, and model. Links to nodes at the current level and two levels downward are displayed. (The number of documents in each node appear in parentheses.)

Figure 4-3    Displaying taxonomies for user browsing

In this situation, the user can start browsing one taxonomy, then switch the other, and even back again, until arriving at a desired category or document.

Your application can dynamically render the taxonomy links presented to the user. For example, if the user clicks the Canada link on the right side of Figure 4-3, the resultant taxonomy display need not show the links for Australia and U.S.A., because those categories cannot be searched downward from that point.

Figure 4-4 shows the result of browsing the automotive taxonomies to select California dealers of European cars, then performing the same search and selections as in Figures 4-1 and 4-2.

Figure 4-4    Taxonomy browse combined with text search and parametric selection

Supporting relational taxonomies requires a parametric index that contains multiple taxonomies. Administrators can use the Verity Collaborative Classifier or other Verity tools to create the taxonomies and insert them into the parametric index.

Your application conducts parametric selections by making calls to the K2 Parametric Java API. Note that the Verity search engine can return the categories (topics) to which a document belongs when it returns a parametric selection result. Your application can use that information to display links for further browsing the associated taxonomies.