Visualizing and Navigating Ontologies with KC-Viz
There is empirical evidence that current user interfaces for ontology engineering are still inadequate in their ability to reduce task complexity for users, especially non-expert ones. Here we present a novel tool for visualizing and navigating ontologies, KC-Viz, which exploits an innovative ontology summarization method to support a “middle-out ontology browsing” approach, where it becomes possible to navigate ontologies starting from the most information-rich nodes (i.e., key concepts). This approach is similar to map-based visualization and navigation in geographical information systems, where, e.g., major cities are displayed more prominently than others, depending on the current level of granularity. Building on its powerful and empirically validated ontology summarization algorithm, KC-Viz provides a rich set of navigation and visualization mechanisms, including flexible zooming into and hiding of specific parts of an ontology, visualization of the most salient nodes, history browsing, saving and loading of customized ontology views, as well as essential interface support, such as graphical zooming, font manipulation, tree layout customization, and other functionalities.
KeywordsClass Abstract Ontology Engineering Spatial Entity Sensemaking Process Flexible Exploration
This work was partially supported by funding from the European Commission, in the context of the NeOn and SmartProducts projects. The paper has benefited greatly from many insightful comments from Pierluigi Miraglia, who kindly suggested both ways to improve the presentation of this work as well as interesting new directions for future research.
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