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

From: David Huynh <dfhuynh@alum.mit.edu>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 18:27:54 -0700
Message-ID: <48AB731A.5060205@alum.mit.edu>
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
CC: public-lod@w3.org, semantic-web@w3c.org

Tim Berners-Lee wrote:
> 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.
Hence, the name "Tabulator", I suppose :)

>    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.
The trouble is of course when the whole web is the database, it's hard 
to suggest those relationships (connections) for a set of entities. How 
might one solve that problem? I suppose something like Swoogle can help. 
Is that what Tabulator uses to know what data is on the SW?

Received on Wednesday, 20 August 2008 01:29:28 UTC

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