Calculation Of Tag Popularity

| January 2nd, 2006

Determinig the popularity of tags has very fluid solutions which keep changing from application to application. But in general one metric that can be used is the number of unique items tagged using the particular tag. Secondly another metric that is the number of unique users using this tag could also be used. I’ve come up with a formula that encompasses both of these:

( Usage Count / Number of tagged Items ) * ( User Count / Number of Taggers )

where,
Usage Count (UsgCnt) : the number of unique items having the tag.
Number of tagged Items (NTI) : the total number of items having atleast one tag (i.e. items participating in tagging)
User Count (UsrCnt) : the number of users using this tag.
Number of Taggers (NOT) : the total number of users participating in tagging.

Case 1:
UsgCnt = 15, NTI = 40, UsrCnt = 2, NOT = 20
Popularity = 0.0375
Note: This represents a case in which the two users may be trying to spam the system by tagging many items by the specific tag.

Case 2:
UsgCnt = 15, NTI = 40, UsrCnt = 9, NOT = 20
Popularity = 0.1685
Note: Here we clearly see that as the number of users using this tag increases the popularity increases as well (suggesting no spam but folksonomy).

Case 3:
UsgCnt = 15, NTI = 40, UsrCnt = 1, NOT = 1
Popularity = 0.375
Note: Here it can be noted that if there is only one user in the system the popularity becomes independent of the user ratio and depends entirely on the tagged items ratio.

Case 4:
UsgCnt = 40, NTI = 40, UsrCnt = 10, NOT = 20
Popularity = 0.5
Note: In this case if all the messages in the system are tagged using the specific tag (UsgCnt = NTI ) the popularity depends entirely on the number of users using this tag.

This gives a fairly rough idea of tag popularity calculation.

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