As part of its ongoing research and development efforts, the ARTFL Project has used the digital edition of the Encyclopédie as a test-bed for many of its machine learning, data mining, and visualization experiments. With its multiple encyclopedic orders (alphabetic, classes of knowledge, cross-references), the Encyclopédie invites exploration and experimentation.
We believe that these navigational tools, while very much experimental in nature, can provide new and interesting ways to move through the Encyclopédie, taking full advantage of the affordances granted solely by a digital edition. They can be used heuristically to explore the system of cross-references (Renvois Navigation), to suggest possible articles of further interest for researchers and users working in a given topic (Similar Articles, Machine Classifications), or to investigate sources and locate similar passages in other texts contained in the ARTFL main database (Sequence Alignment). A description of each tool and the methodology behind it can be found by clicking on the links below.
We are also using these tools to improve our edition of the Encyclopédie. When you see erroneous cross-references, for example, please use the “report error” function to indicate the error. More generally we invite users to share their reaction to these tools, and to the digital edition in general, by contacting us.