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Re: Visual Rendering of OWL ontologies?

From: Anne Cregan <Anne.Cregan@nicta.com.au>
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 01:01:23 +1100
To: Alexander Garcia Castro <alexgarciac@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <4735B9B3.9070508@nicta.com.au>
CC: public-owl-wg@w3.org

Hi Alexander,
Please see comments below

Alexander Garcia Castro wrote:
> My five cents:
>
> independent of any ontology editor
>
> from my experience the graphical representation of the ontology should
> not be kept separated from the manipulation of OWL constructs. the
> graphical representation should also provide the means for direct
> manipulation. Editors such as Protege have a lot of visual aids, all
> of them are separated from the editing process. This, in practical
> terms, means that one always has to go back to the hard-to-manage
> tree-like-hierarchy. A good example that illustrates the importance of
> this relationship (editing and visualizing)  comes from very advanced
> IDEs such as JDEVELOPER, JBUILDER, etc. For these IDEs the
> visualization facilitates the manipulation of those constructs the
> language provides, also facilitates the processes one has to run as a
> programmer.
>   
I wasn't meaning in any way to devalue your work - I think it's a 
fantastic idea to be able to edit
ontologies graphically, and I'm really looking forward to trying out 
your stuff!

My motivation was more from the angle of : now we have this ontology and 
we want to show it to
people in some generally acceptable way.  I often find myself preparing 
presentations that show
ontologies (or at least try to!) and I'd just like to have some 
consensus on what shape is a class,
what does a property look like, what does a restriction look like etc, 
so that people can easily interpret
what they are seeing in the way they currently can with E-R diagrams for 
instance.

> do working group members have any strong feeling about a preferred way
>   
>> to do it?
>>     
>
> In my opinion this is problem dependent. Not only depends on the
> ontology at hand, but also the "what do you need the visualization
> for" affects the choice.
>   
That's a good point, and part of the nature and power of ontologies is 
their ability to be
 viewed and used from many "angles" (by class, by property, by 
individual etc).  It may well not be
just one view but several related views that we will need.  It may not 
be realistic to expect to capture
a whole ontology in just one diagram.

>  do we want to discuss the approaches and perhaps consider moving
>   
>> towards a recommended approach?
>>     
>
> An open discussion may lead to a series of recommendations. that would
> be nice. I could in that way enrich my plug in, and the rest of the
> tools we are currently planning to develop.
>   
I think something like what Vipul suggested - a UML-like representation 
- is worth pursuing.
I look forward to comments from those in the community who have worked 
on the ODM and
may have some valuable advice here. 
>   
>> We already have a task force working an English syntax for OWL1.1,
>> perhaps we might want to consider
>> a task force working towards agreeing on a visual representation as well.
>>
>>     
>
> This representation along with the corresponding graphical environment
> should facilitate the development of ontologies by domain experts.
> Even if it is just at the level of a baseline ontology.
>   
I agree, although IMHO even domain experts should get their hands dirty 
and use the tools, not
just look at static diagrams!

Best Regards,
Anne

>
>
> On Nov 10, 2007 4:47 AM, Anne Cregan <Anne.Cregan@nicta.com.au> wrote:
>   
>> Hi everyone,
>>
>> I have lately seen several approaches to visual rendering of ontologies
>> (see details below).
>>
>> I'm wondering how the group feel about the visual representation of
>> ontologies as diagrams
>> independent of any ontology editor:
>> - do working group members have any strong feeling about a preferred way
>> to do it?
>> - do we want to discuss the approaches and perhaps consider moving
>> towards a recommended approach?
>>
>> We already have a task force working an English syntax for OWL1.1,
>> perhaps we might want to consider
>> a task force working towards agreeing on a visual representation as well.
>>
>> Thoughts and comments invited.
>>
>> Best Regards,
>> Anne
>>
>>
>> Posting today on CG list from Alexander Garcia Castro <alexgarciac@gmail.com
>>     
>>> We have developed a new tool that facilitates the generation of
>>> ontologies in  graphical way. The tool is a plug-in for Protege, it
>>> uses all of Protege OWL plug in in order to facilitate the direct
>>> manipulation of OWL constructs. In this way domain experts are able to
>>> build ontologies in a simple and intuitive manner, the plug-in also
>>> allows users to load pre-existing ontologies and edit them by using
>>> the same graphical features. The tool is available at
>>> http://map2owl.sourceforge.net/, initially our web site is only in
>>> Spanish, an English version is on the pipe.
>>>       
>> There's also a tool called VisioOWL
>> http://mysite.verizon.net/jflynn12/VisioOWL/VisioOWL.htm
>>
>>     
>>> VisioOWL is a Microsoft Visio application to support the use of Visio
>>> for creating graphical representations of OWL ontologies. This
>>> implementation is intended to provide, as close as possible, a direct
>>> one-to-one mapping between the OWL language constructs and their
>>> graphical representation. The graphical representation of an OWL
>>> ontology may provide, for some developers and users, a more
>>> comprehensive insight into overall class and property relationships
>>> than could be garnered from the OWL markup alone.
>>>       
>> The contact listed is John Flynn jflynn12@verizon.net
>>
>> I believe there's also a UML-aligned approach as developed as part of the OMG Ontology Metamodel
>> led by Evan Wallace ewallace@nist.gov
>>
>> http://www.omg.org/ontology/
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>     
>
>
>
>   
Received on Saturday, 10 November 2007 14:01:46 GMT

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