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Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 130, 183-191

A spatial user interface to the astronomical literature

P. Poinçot1, S. Lesteven1, - F. Murtagh21

Send offprint request: S. Lesteven

Observatoire Astronomique, 11 rue de l'Université, F-67000 Strasbourg, France - Faculty of Informatics, University of Ulster, Londonderry BT48 7JL, Northern Ireland

Received September 26; accepted December 1, 1997


We recall the properties of the Kohonen self-organizing feature map (SOM or SOFM), and explain how such maps can be used for information retrieval. We present an application to a bibliographic database. Our neural net can contain more than one level when necessary, which allows users to modify its spatial configuration. It is available for interactive use on the World-Wide Web ( The interface that we have designed for browsing in the documentary database will be explained in detail.

Key words: astronomical databases: miscellaneous -- publications, bibliography -- techniques: miscellaneous

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