A novel aproach to visualizing and navigation ontologies

author: Enrico Motta, Knowledge Media Institute (KMI), Open University (OU)
published: Nov. 25, 2011,   recorded: October 2011,   views: 3123


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Observational studies in the literature have highlighted low levels of user satisfaction in relation to the support for ontology visualization and exploration provided by current ontology engineering tools. These issues are particularly problematic for non-expert users, who rely on effective tool support to abstract from representational details and to be able to make sense of the contents and the structure of ontologies. To address these issues, we have developed a novel solution for visualizing and navigating ontologies, KC-Viz, which exploits an empirically-validated ontology summarization method, both to provide concise views of large ontologies, and also to support a ‘middle-out’ ontology navigation approach, starting from the most information-rich nodes (key concepts). In this paper we present the main features of KC-Viz and also discuss the encouraging results derived from a preliminary empirical evaluation, which suggest that the use of KC-Viz provides performance advantages to users tackling realistic browsing and visualization tasks. Supplementary data gathered through questionnaires also convey additional interesting findings, including evidence that prior experience in ontology engineering affects not just objective performance in ontology engineering tasks but also subjective views on the usability of ontology engineering tools.

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