Classify Interactive is the cockpit of Irion’s classification system. With Classify Interactive users can create and maintain their own classifiers, on the basis of any controlled vocabulary available. It is interactive because it allows a user to monitor and adjust the classifications, but also to interactively build or train a classifier expert to do the job. Interaction takes place via a user-friendly graphical interface that immediately shows the effects and skills of the classifier, and offers a large variety of quality evaluation options.

With the word classification is meant the assignment of keywords or other types of labels to documents, which are an indication of the content of the document. These keywords or labels are called classes. A good example of a class could be the term Threatened mammals for an article about the Panda Bear, or Travel for an article describing a Journey through Tibet. Classes group documents into coherent clusters and, usually, suggest their commonality, e.g.: Sports, Politics, Health. Documents can belong to multiple categories, e.g. Sports and Religion.

Of course, the assignment of classes to documents is a subjective matter: People, and, in many cases, specially trained experts decide which class is a good identification for the content of a piece of text. It is important to note that Classify is not yet another person with an opinion. Rather than this, Classify learns how such a person, or a group of persons tend to classify documents, and – once learned – can perform as an expert. After sufficient training Classify can be left alone to classify huge amounts of documents without any human intervention.

The knowledge of Classify Interactive is bundled in an expert system. Such an expert system is called a monk, like the monks in the middle ages that classified books in libraries. Once a monk is created he is kept in a monastery with the other monks and he can be used to automatically classify documents. You can make as many monks as you want, reflecting as many different ways or opinions to classify documents. You can also adapt a monk at any time. If you are no longer satisfied with the monk or if the classification scheme changed (usually because your view on the world changed), you can easily correct the behaviour of the monk.

Creating a monk is real easy. Classify Interactive can directly be used by professional documentalists such as librarians, content-managers, or archivists and novice end-users to both interactively train a monk and interactively add classification tags to documents. The end-user can monitor the performance of the monk and correct the results or further train the monk if the classification scheme changes.

It is important to realize that Classify Interactive is a Software Application (SA) for automated and interactive document classification. In addition to Classify Interactive, Irion also offers Classify Server. Classify Server is a classification service for building automatic and semi-automatic classification functions or applications that make use of monks created with Classify Interactive. A software developer can for example build an e-mail filtering or routing system that makes calls to Classify Server. With Classify Interactive, he can then easily build specific expert systems or trained monks for their customers or end users.

Classify allows users to load texts from their computer and to use these texts to train a monk or to let it be classified by a monk.