Re: about true names ... searching and measuring.

From: Michael Kurtz <kurtz_at_CFA.HARVARD.EDU>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2006 15:13:33 -0400

The problem with associating names with individuals is one of long
standing. Because people remain unique this is at least in principle a
solvable problem (by the unique PAI method, as Jean Claude suggests).
For organizations, which can merge, move, break up into parts, and a
number of other equally difficult actions, the problem is not solvable.

The Smithsonian/NASA ADS addresses the issue of an individual's names by
first keeping the physics and the astronomy databases separate, so to
minimize the overlapp of similar names, and by maintaining a list of
name synonyms, so a person looking for papers by M.L. Hazen will also
find papers by M.L. Hazen-Liller and by M.H. Liller.

The problem with name overlaps is really quite severe, and begs for a
solution, such as the PAI. The link, which shows all the exact names
for all persons named Z. Wang in the ADS physics data base (with the
number of papers corresponding to that exact name in parenthesis), shows
the severity of the problem.

Dr. Michael J. Kurtz
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
VOICE: +1-617-495-7434
FAX: +1-617-495-7467
Received on Fri Aug 18 2006 - 20:34:28 BST

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