CropCircles: Topology Sensitive Visualization of OWL Class Hierarchies

  • Taowei David Wang
  • Bijan Parsia
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4273)


OWL ontologies present many interesting visualization challenges. Here we present CropCircles, a technique designed to view the class hierarchies in ontologies as trees. We place special emphasis on topology understanding when designing the tool. We drew inspiration from treemaps, but made substantial changes in the representation and layout. Most notably, the spacefillingness of treemap is relaxed in exchange for visual clarity. We outline the problem scape of visualizing ontology hierarchies, note the requirements that go into the design of the tool, and discuss the interface and implementation. Finally, through a controlled experiment involving tasks common to understanding ontologies, we show the benefits of our design.


Leaf Node Child Node Class Hierarchy Circle Packing Layout Strategy 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taowei David Wang
    • 1
  • Bijan Parsia
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.The University of ManchesterUK

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