GINO – A Guided Input Natural Language Ontology Editor

  • Abraham Bernstein
  • Esther Kaufmann
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4273)


The casual user is typically overwhelmed by the formal logic of the Semantic Web. The gap between the end user and the logic-based scaffolding has to be bridged if the Semantic Web’s capabilities are to be utilized by the general public. This paper proposes that controlled natural languages offer one way to bridge the gap. We introduce GINO, a guided input natural language ontology editor that allows users to edit and query ontologies in a language akin to English. It uses a small static grammar, which it dynamically extends with elements from the loaded ontologies. The usability evaluation shows that GINO is well-suited for novice users when editing ontologies. We believe that the use of guided entry overcomes thehabitability problem, which adversely affects most natural language systems. Additionally, the approach’s dynamic grammar generation allows for easy adaptation to new ontologies.


Habitability Problem Novice User Terminal Symbol Control Language Ontology Editor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Androutsopoulos, I., Kallonis, S., Karkaletsis, V.: Exploiting owl ontologies in the multilingual generation of object. In: 10th European Workshop on Natural Language Generation (ENLG 2005), Aberdeen, UK, pp. 150–155 (2005)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Androutsopoulos, I., Ritchie, G.D., Thanisch, P.: Natural language interfaces to databases - an introduction. Natural Language Engineering 1(1), 29–81 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bechhofer, S., Horrocks, I., Goble, C., Stevens, R.: Oiled: A reasonable ontology editor for the semantic web. In: Intl. Description Logics Workshop, Stanford, CA (2001)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bechhofer, S., Stevens, R., Ng, G., Jacoby, A., Goble, C.: Guiding the user: An ontology driven interface. In: User Interfaces to Data Intensive Systems (UIDIS 1999), Edinburgh, Scotland, pp. 158–161 (1999)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bernstein, A., Kaufmann, E.: Making the semantic web accessible to the casual user: Empirical evidence on the usefulness of semiformal query languages. IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering (under review)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bernstein, A., Kaufmann, E., Göhring, A., Kiefer, C.: Querying ontologies: A controlled english interface for end-users. In: Gil, Y., Motta, E., Benjamins, V.R., Musen, M.A. (eds.) ISWC 2005. LNCS, vol. 3729, pp. 112–126. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brooke, J.: Sus - a quick and dirty usability scale. In: Jordan, P., Thomas, B., Weerdmeester, B., McClelland, A. (eds.) Usability Evaluation in Industry. Taylor Francis, London (1996)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cha, S.K.: Kaleidoscope: A cooperative menu-guided query interface (sql version). IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering 3(1), 42–47 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chakrabarti, S.: Breaking through the syntax barrier: Searching with entities and relations. In: Boulicaut, J.-F., Esposito, F., Giannotti, F., Pedreschi, D. (eds.) ECML 2004. LNCS, vol. 3201, pp. 9–16. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fikes, R., Farquhar, A., Rice, J.: Tools for assembling modular ontologies in ontolingua. In: AAAI/IAAI, pp. 436–441 (1997)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hallett, C., Power, R., Scott, D.: Intuitive querying of e-health data repositories. In: UK E-Science All-hands Meeting, Nottingham, UK (2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kalyanpur, A., Parsia, B., Hendler, J.: A tool for working with web ontologies. Intl. Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems 1(1), 36–49 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Katz, B., Lin, J., Quan, D.: Natural language annotations for the semantic web. In: Meersman, R., Tari, Z., et al. (eds.) CoopIS 2002, DOA 2002, and ODBASE 2002. LNCS, vol. 2519. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lambrix, P., Habbouche, M., Prez, M.: Evaluation of ontology development tools for bioinformatics. Bioinformatics 19(12), 1564–1571 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lopez, V., Motta, E., Uren, V.: Poweraqua: Fisching the semantic web. In: Sure, Y., Domingue, J. (eds.) ESWC 2006. LNCS, vol. 4011, pp. 393–410. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lopez, V., Pasin, M., Motta, E.: Aqualog: An ontology-portable question answering system for the semantic web. In: Gómez-Pérez, A., Euzenat, J. (eds.) ESWC 2005. LNCS, vol. 3532, pp. 546–562. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    McGuinness, D.L., Fikes, R., Rice, J., Wilder, S.: An environment for merging and testing large ontologies. In: Seventh Intl. Conf. on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR 2000), Breckenridge, CO, pp. 483–493 (2000)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    McGuinness, D.L., van Harmelen, F.: Owl web ontology language overview. W3c recommendation (2004)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mooney, R.J.: Learning semantic parsers: An important but under-studied problem. In: AAAI 2004 Spring Symposium on Language Learning: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, Stanford, CA, pp. 39–44 (2004)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Napier, H.A., Lane, D.M., Batsell, R.R., Guadango, N.S.: Impact of a restricted natural language interface on ease of learnng and productivity. Communications of the ACM 32(10), 1190–1198 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nielsen, J.: Usability Engineering. Academic Press, San Diego (1993)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Noy, N.F., Sintek, M., Decker, S., Crubézy, M., Fergerson, R.W., Musen, M.A.: Creating semantic web contents with protege-2000. IEEE Intelligent Systems 16(2), 60–71 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Popescu, A.-M., Etzioni, O., Kautz, H.: Towards a theory of natural language interfaces to databases. In: 8th Intl. Conf. on Intelligent User Interfaces, Miami, FL, pp. 149–157 (2003)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Preece, J., Rogers, Y., Sharp, H.: Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction. John Wiley and Sons, New York (2002)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Prud’hommeaux, E., Seaborne, A.: Sparql query language for rdf. Technical report, W3C Candiate Recommendation (2006)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Schwitter, R., Tilbrook, M.: Let’s talk in description logic via controlled natural language. In: Logic and Engineering of Natural Language Semantics (LENLS 2006), Tokyo, Japan (2006)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Spink, A., Dietmar, W., Jansen, B.J., Saracevic, T.: Searching the web: The public and their queries. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 52(3), 226–234 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Spoerri, A.: Infocrystal: A visual tool for information retrieval management. In: Second Intl. Conf. on Information and Knowledge Management, Washington, DC, pp. 11–20. ACM Press, New York (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Sure, Y., Michael, E., Angele, J., Staab, S., Studer, R., Wenke, D.: Ontoedit: Collaborative ontology development for the semantic web. In: Horrocks, I., Hendler, J. (eds.) ISWC 2002. LNCS, vol. 2342, pp. 221–235. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Tablan, V., Polajnar, T., Cunningham, H., Bontcheva, K.: User-friendly ontology authoring using a controlled language. Research Memorandum CS-05-10, Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield (2005)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tang, L.R., Mooney, R.J.: Using multiple clause constructors in inductive logic programming for semantic parsing. In: Flach, P.A., De Raedt, L. (eds.) ECML 2001. LNCS, vol. 2167, pp. 466–477. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Thompson, C.W., Pazandak, P., Tennant, H.R.: Talk to your semantic web. IEEE Internet Computing 9(6), 75–78 (2005)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abraham Bernstein
    • 1
  • Esther Kaufmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Dynamic and Distributed Information SystemsUniversity of ZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations