Skip to main content

Generic environments for knowledge management and visualization


There is an increasing need for usable tools to support knowledge elicitation, formalization and management. As an answer to this need, this paper describes fully integrated semantic web frameworks, where users can represent and manage their knowledge in a visual way, without the need of semantic web experts as intermediaries. These frameworks typically incorporate an ontology editor, a resource editor, reasoning capabilities and intuitive interaction and visualization facilities. In particular, two frameworks are presented: IRCS, a system to semantically index, search, and navigate heterogeneous resources, and AWI, a collaborative environment aiming to collect and share knowledge of user communities. These generic frameworks were developed within applied research projects and used to create semantic web applications in different domains such as water management plants and business process management. An interesting aspect of these systems is that they provide visualization tools to present both ontologies and resources in a familiar and intuitive way in order to simplify their understanding. The use of effective visualization techniques is also investigated in the EasyOnto project, where a web application that graphically represents ontologies using different methods was developed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


  1. Baldassari A (2009) Sviluppo applicazione web intelligente, AWI2. Dissertation (Bachelor Thesis), SUPSI (CH)

  2. Bergman MK (2010) The sweet compendium of ontology building tools. Accessed 1 October 2011

  3. Canetta L, Redaelli C, Flores M (eds) (2011) Digital factory for human-oriented production systems. Springer, London

    Google Scholar 

  4. Catenazzi N, Sommaruga L (2005a) A Semantic Web Resource Navigator for Competence Based Learning, International conference on methods and technologies for learning, ICMTL2005, Palermo, 9–11 March

  5. Catenazzi N, Sommaruga L (2005b) Practical experiences towards generic resource navigation and visualization, SWAP 2005, the 2nd Italian Semantic Web Workshop, Trento, Italy, December 14–16, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, ISSN 1613-0073. Accessed 1 October 2011

  6. Catenazzi N, Sommaruga L, Mazza R (2009) User-friendly ontology editing and visualization tools: the OWLeasyViz approach, 13th International conference information visualisation, Barcelona, July

  7. Denny M (2004) Ontology tools survey, Revisited. Accessed 1 October 2011

  8. Flores M, Sommaruga L (2009) SMARTBRICKS: developing an intelligent web tool for business process management, 15th International conference on concurrent enterprising, Leiden—The Netherlands, 22–24 June

  9. Gašević D, Djurić D, Devedžić V (2006) Chapter 2: ontologies in “Model Driven Architecture and Ontology Development”. Springer, Berlin, pp 45–77

    Google Scholar 

  10. Geroimenko V, Chen C (eds) (2006) Visualizing the semantic web, XML-based internet and information visualization. Springer, London

    Google Scholar 

  11. Katifori A, Halatsis C, Lepouras G, Vassilakis C, Gainnopoulou E (2007) Ontology visualization methods—a survey. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR) 39(4):10:1–10:43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Lanzenberger M, Sampson J, Rester M (2010) Ontology visualization: tools and techniques for visual representation of semi-structured meta-data. J Univers Comput Sci 16(7):1036–1054

    Google Scholar 

  13. Mantegazzini R (2008) Semantic DB, Dissertation (Master Thesis), SUPSI (CH)

  14. Ruggeri A (2009) EasyOnto visualizzazione ontologie, Dissertation (Bachelor Thesis), SUPSI (CH)

  15. Sarker BK, Wallace P, Gill W (2008) Some observations on mind map and ontology building tools for knowledge management, ubiquity, March, ACM. Accessed 1 October 2011

  16. Sommaruga L, Catenazzi N, Canetta L (2010a) The intelligent web: tools for knowledge management and sharing, 16th International conference on concurrent enterprising “Collaborative Environments for Sustainable Innovation” (ICE 2010) Lugano (CH), 21–23 June

  17. Sommaruga L, Catenazzi N, Baldassari A (2010b) Generic environments for semantic web applications, 6th workshop on semantic web applications and perspectives (SWAP 2010), Bressanone, 21–22 September 2010

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nadia Catenazzi.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Catenazzi, N., Sommaruga, L. Generic environments for knowledge management and visualization. J Ambient Intell Human Comput 4, 99–108 (2013).

Download citation


  • Semantic web
  • Knowledge visualization
  • Ontology
  • Integrated frameworks