Facet Graphs: Complex Semantic Querying Made Easy

  • Philipp Heim
  • Thomas Ertl
  • Jürgen Ziegler
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6088)


While the Semantic Web is rapidly filling up, appropriate tools for searching it are still at infancy. In this paper we describe an approach that allows humans to access information contained in the Semantic Web according to its semantics and thus to leverage the specific characteristic of this Web. To avoid the ambiguity of natural language queries, users only select already defined attributes organized in facets to build their search queries. The facets are represented as nodes in a graph visualization and can be interactively added and removed by the users in order to produce individual search interfaces. This provides the possibility to generate interfaces in arbitrary complexities and access arbitrary domains. Even multiple and distantly connected facets can be integrated in the graph facilitating the access of information from different user-defined perspectives. Challenges include massive amounts of data, massive semantic relations within the data, highly complex search queries and users’ unfamiliarity with the Semantic Web.


Graph visualization faceted search query building SPARQL  hierarchical facets pivot operation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philipp Heim
    • 1
  • Thomas Ertl
    • 1
  • Jürgen Ziegler
    • 2
  1. 1.Visualization and Interactive Systems Group (VIS)University of StuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Interactive Systems and Interaction DesignUniversity of Duisburg-EssenGermany

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