The Semantic Web: Research and Applications

Volume 6088 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 303-317

Interactive Relationship Discovery via the Semantic Web

  • Philipp HeimAffiliated withVisualization and Interactive Systems Group, University of Stuttgart
  • , Steffen LohmannAffiliated withDEI Laboratory, Carlos III University of Madrid
  • , Timo StegemannAffiliated withInteractive Systems and Interaction Design, University of Duisburg-Essen

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This paper presents an approach for the interactive discovery of relationships between selected elements via the Semantic Web. It emphasizes the human aspect of relationship discovery by offering sophisticated interaction support. Selected elements are first semi-automatically mapped to unique objects of Semantic Web datasets. These datasets are then crawled for relationships which are presented in detail and overview. Interactive features and visual clues allow for a sophisticated exploration of the found relationships. The general process is described and the RelFinder tool as a concrete implementation and proof-of-concept is presented and evaluated in a user study. The application potentials are illustrated by a scenario that uses the RelFinder and DBpedia to assist a business analyst in decision-making. Main contributions compared to previous and related work are data aggregations on several dimensions, a graph visualization that displays and connects relationships also between more than two given objects, and an advanced implementation that is highly configurable and applicable to arbitrary RDF datasets.