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Re: SW Graphical Notation

From: Enrico Franconi <franconi@inf.unibz.it>
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2013 12:03:01 +0200
CC: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfpschneider@gmail.com>, Renato Iannella <ri@semanticidentity.com>, "semantic-web@w3.org Web" <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <8392B825-E4BA-467F-80D4-2FD239E0F3CE@inf.unibz.it>
To: Stephen D.Williams <sdw@lig.net>
I don't believe we need to invent/introduce a graphical syntactic variant of OWL. 
On the one hand, like Peter was saying, we need to improve the quality of the visual/graphical aspects of OWL editors. These visual/graphical aspects are not expected to cover completely cover the OWL language nor the design process of an OWL ontology, but are meant to support the analysis and the comprehension of certain aspects of the ontology (e.g., the taxonomy, etc).
On the other hand, we have to understand that there is a reason why (a) in 20+ years of history of description logics, no graphical syntax to the language has been proposed, but (b) there are graphical/visual "standards" for the most used conceptual modelling languages, namely ER [1], UML [2] and ORM [3], which can be seen as very similar and intuitive.
Most OWL statements are quite subtle in nature and do not have an graphical counterpart which simplifies their understanding. ER, UML, ORM statements are inherently graphical in nature and the graphics actually tells you in an intuitive way their meaning.
Given the expressive equivalence between these conceptual modelling languages and OWL [1,2,3]; given the fact that these conceptual modelling languages are much more easily understandable than OWL; given that they are widely used and that there are plenty of tools and of design methodologies: my proposal - since ages - is that we should have ER/UML/ORM graphical front-ends to OWL backbones.

[1]	P. R. Fillottrani, E. Franconi, and S. Tessaris, “The ICOM 3.0 Intelligent Conceptual Modelling tool and methodology,” Semantic Web journal, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 293–306, 2012.
[2]	D. Berardi, D. Calvanese, and G. De Giacomo, “Reasoning on UML class diagrams,” Artificial Intelligence, 2005.
[3]	E. Franconi, A. Mosca, and D. Solomakhin, “The Formalization of ORM2 and its Encoding in OWL2,” International Workshop on Fact-Oriented Modeling (ORM 2012), 2012.

On 28 Jun 2013, at 11:19, Stephen D. Williams <sdw@lig.net> wrote:

> I've been thinking and working on this for a while.  Current methods fall far short of what we need and what we can do.  We need to try a lot of different innovative ideas before standardizing on the best methods.  However, I suspect that some aspects of something like standardization may come into play as soon as something works well.  More in the sharing and promoting the best ideas sense than in confining what people do.
> I have some ideas in this area, but I'm not ready to put them out there yet.  Soon I think.
> Who's interested in working on this or reviewing prototypes?
> Stephen
> On 6/27/13 9:39 PM, Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote:
>> I'm having trouble understanding the purpose of having a common/accepted visual representation of an ontology.  Would this representation help in standardizing ontologies?  Would it help in transmitting ontologies?  Would tools be required to consume it?
>> This is not to say that there is not a pressing need for more ontology visualization tools.  On the contrary, every time I look at ontologies of any size, I become depressed at how bad ontology visualization tools are.  (Of course, what I want is to see just what I need to see, arranged in just the way that makes it easiest for me to understand aspects of the ontology that I understand.)  This seems to point out a need for research, not standardization, however.
>> Peter F. Patel-Schneider
>> On Jun 27, 2013, at 8:39 PM, Renato Iannella <ri@semanticidentity.com> wrote:
>>> RDF/OWL have well-defined technical encodings (xml, turtle, etc) but there is no such common/accepted representation for a graphical notation.
>>> That is, a visual representation of an ontology that captures (graphically) all the semantics of RDF/OWL.
>>> I have collected a few examples of various graphical notations here: http://www.w3.org/wiki/SemWebGraphicalNotation
>>> Is there any interest from members of the SWIG to look at this in more detail, and potentially propose such graphical notation for RDF/OWL?
>>> (This could be via this IG or a new Community Group.)
>>> Cheers...
>>> Renato Iannella
>>> Semantic Identity
>>> http://semanticidentity.com
>>> Mobile: +61 4 1313 2206

Received on Friday, 28 June 2013 10:03:31 UTC

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