1 May 2005
Dr. Moria Levy
A knowledge tree, also named- navigation tree is a hierarchical mechanism which represents items with a common denominator, thus creating "knowledge branches" on different subjects represented on different levels: 'branches', 'sub-branches' and 'leaves'. The basis of a knowledge tree is the "trunk" of central subjects, the "branches" represent the names of the different items sorted logically in folders and the "leaves" i.e. each branch ending in one or more basic content items.
The knowledge Tree is not merely a logical term; it is a real body in every computerized Knowledge Management solution such as portals, content websites and communities and serves for as the "spine" which contains all organizational knowledge on a certain field.
Why build a knowledge tree?
It serves as a navigation tool for organizational knowledge which is accessible, natural and comfortable.
It is utilized for various Knowledge Management solutions.
Although it usually changes frequently (folders are added/switched/deleted), its basis and rationale remain stable.
It is hierarchical enough in order to reach anywhere in the organization. Regardless of where you enter it, it will lead you to your destination.
It is identical to both searcher and updater, so that the logic of information searching and information updating are identical as well.
It enables different types of information to coexist e.g. information and links to application systems.
It can operate independently or as part of a larger "forest" of knowledge".
A knowledge tree is actually not a new idea. The idea of hierarchy has existed for centuries and has been used in all fields of life. Yet only recently, thanks to modern technology, we are beginning to realize the huge potential of using hierarchy combined with multidimensionality as an efficient solution for dealing with the vast amount of information surrounding us. If we construct the knowledge tree optimally, then like an actual tree- it will surely outlive us.