W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > August 2008

Re: freebase parallax: user interface for browsing graphs of data

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 09:09:45 -0400
Cc: Georgi Kobilarov <gkob@gmx.de>, public-lod@w3.org, semantic-web@w3c.org
Message-Id: <01A1901F-C937-4E95-B10E-A1D4C2A859A8@w3.org>
To: David Huynh <dfhuynh@alum.mit.edu>


On 2008-08 -17, at 04:02, David Huynh wrote:

> I can also explain that distinction in a different way. Parallax is  
> intended to be a browser, not a query builder. Personally, to me a  
> query builder implies a closed-world database where there are few  
> types and how these types are connected is understood by the user.  
> For example, the database might contain data about publications,  
> authors, and conferences. The user is assumed to be aware of how  
> those types are connected. The query builder can then let the user  
> specify patterns to match this closed graph by presenting the query  
> graph in some visual way. Now, if we're dealing with an open world  
> instead, then I don't think a query graph, and hence, a query  
> builder, is suitable conceptually. Parallax embodies a browsing  
> paradigm instead of a query building paradigm.


This is the issue which Tabulator addresses, really.  See [1].   I  
felt the dichotomy wasn't between browsing and query-building but  
browsing and analyzing something something one has found.   The  
transition in tabulator comes when you have browsed a and found and  
selected a subgraph and then you ask for a view of all similar  
subgraphs out there in the web, with the button we now call 'find  
all'.  (As you have to first select a set of fields, it isn't  
intuitive for the newbie.  -- I like your "what on earth just  
happened?" popups!   Maybe it needs one of those.)  The generation of  
the query is query by example. It is similar,  but freebase parallax  
allows you to follow any relationship which presidents have, rather  
than picking a specific president as an example and then generalizing.  
This avoids problems of finding an example which uncharacteristically  
doesn't have the direction you want.

Tim

[1] Tabulator: Exploring and Analyzing linked data on the Semantic  
Web, Procedings of the The 3rd International Semantic Web User  
Interaction Workshop (SWUI06)  workshop, Athens, Georgia, 6 Nov 2006. http://swui.semanticweb.org/swui06/papers/Berners-Lee/Berners-Lee.pdf
Received on Monday, 18 August 2008 13:10:21 GMT

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