ONTOSELF: A 3D ONTOLOGY VISUALIZATION TOOL
Ontologies are frequently used to formalize the conceptualization of a domain. Numerous ontologies exist in a variety of domains. For example, The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) ontology and the North American Industrial Classification System ontology (NAICS) are becoming widely used in e-commerce applications and contain on the order of thousands of product categories. The Gene Ontology (GO) with over 22,000 terms is widely used in biomedical applications. Useful techniques for visualizing the overall structure are needed by both ontology users and creators to understand their structure at a high level and then be able to navigate through the levels of complexity within the ontology. Researchers in ontology visualization are beginning to recognize that ontologies demand their own specialized tools with visualization techniques that depend strongly on both the characteristics of the presented information and the supported task requiring the visualization. This thesis develops a flexible ontology 3D visualization system called OntoSELF (Ontology Scrutiny Exploiting Layouts and Filtering) that allows a user to better understand the nature and identity, i.e., self, of an ontology. It provides a variety of weighting functions from concept-lattice drawing techniques and modifies the layout based on a user-selected weighting function. OntoSELF provides very adjustable filtering capabilities based on structural metrics determined for each ontology concept. Through filtering and flexible layout, the user can then focus on particular areas of the ontology where concepts meet the criteria the user deems essential for better understanding the structure of the ontology, either to hide or abstract out complexity or to reveal intricate details of the ontology. A variety of ontologies varying in domain knowledge and sizes and a set of topology understanding tasks are used to investigate the performance of OntoSELF. To make the testing process more efficient, the capability of parallel execution of both a variety of weighted visualization layouts and filtering options on one ontology and one visualization layout and filtering option on multiple ontologies is provided.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:ontology visualization 3d filtering layout tool parallel
Date of Publication:01/01/2007