The ProtégéVOWL Plugin: Ontology Visualization for Everyone

  • Steffen Lohmann
  • Stefan Negru
  • David Bold
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8798)


The Visual Notation for OWL Ontologies (VOWL) provides a visual language for the representation of ontologies. In contrast to related work, VOWL aims at an intuitive and interactive visualization that is also understandable to users less familiar with ontologies. This paper presents ProtégéVOWL, a first implementation of VOWL realized as a plugin for the ontology editor Protégé. It accesses the internal ontology representation provided by the OWL API and defines graphical mappings according to the VOWL specification. The information visualization toolkit Prefuse is used to render the visual elements and to combine them into a force-directed graph layout. Results from a preliminary user study indicate that ProtégéVOWL does indeed provide a comparatively intuitive and usable ontology visualization.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems (VIS)University of StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Computer ScienceAlexandru Ioan Cuza UniversityIasiRomania

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