Hyperbolic View Interface

In the hyperbolic view interface the exact ontology is visualised with its hierarchy of concepts and the list of attributes of each concept. The hyperbolic geometry [Lamping 1995] which is used to present the concepts shows the nodes in the centre with a large circle, whereas nodes at the border of the interface are only marked with a small circle. This technique allows a quick overview over all concepts. It also allows for quick navigating and choosing of concepts [Figure 21].

Figure 21 - Hyperbolic View Interface

To define a query, the user chooses a concept by clicking on the appropriate node. A list with the attributes to this concept pops up. The user can now choose the attributes which are to be shown in the results, he is able to specify search terms for an exact search. By using the same variable for corresponding attributes from different concepts, other relations than the "is-a" hierarchy can be specified and later queried. The query is submitted by pressing the query button. The results are displayed in a table.

A disadvantage of this view is that the user is still confronted with some F-Logic as he must combine variables (which represent different Objects) in different concept windows to establish other relations than the "is-a" hierarchy. Such a proceeding is no problem for more proficient users, but for beginners with no programming background it is odd.

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