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Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools

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Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools

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We provide a systematic attempt to understand what users really require to build successful ontologies. To do so, we present the insights from an interview study with 15 ontology authors in which we identify the problems reported by authors, and the strategies they employ to solve them. We map the data to a set of design recommendations, which describe how tools can support ontology authoring going forward.

We provide a systematic attempt to understand what users really require to build successful ontologies. To do so, we present the insights from an interview study with 15 ontology authors in which we identify the problems reported by authors, and the strategies they employ to solve them. We map the data to a set of design recommendations, which describe how tools can support ontology authoring going forward.

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Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools

  1. 1. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools Markel Vigo, Caroline Jay, Robert Stevens University of Manchester (UK) @markelvigo www.markelvigo.info markel.vigo@manchester.ac.uk ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI 2014, Toronto
  2. 2. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 What is an ontology? Pneumonia Lung structure has_pathological_process Bacteria Infectious process has_finding_site has_causative_agent
  3. 3. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Pneumonia Lung structure has_pathological_process Bacteria Infectious process has_finding_site has_causative_agent 1) Domain-specific knowledge Why is ontology authoring complex?
  4. 4. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Pneumonia Lung structure has_pathological_process Bacteria Infectious process has_finding_site has_causative_agent Pneumocite has_part Alveolar macrophage Cell Nucleus Membrane Lysosome Mitochondrion subClassOf has_part Source: Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine - Clinical Terms (SNOMED-CT) 2) Size Why is ontology authoring complex?
  5. 5. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Source: National Drug File - Reference Terminology Pneumonia Lung structure has_pathological_process Bacteria Infectious process has_finding_site has_causative_agent CEFTAZIMIDE CEPHALEXIN may_treat Drug subClassOf ERYTHROMYCIN 3) Semantics, reasoning & inference Why is ontology authoring complex?
  6. 6. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Pneumonia Lung structure has_pathological_process Bacteria Infectious process has_finding_site has_causative_agent CEFTAZIMIDE CEPHALEXIN Source: National Drug File - Reference Terminology may_treat Drug subClassOf ERYTHROMYCIN Legionella pnemophila has_typ e 4) It’s critical Why is ontology authoring complex?
  7. 7. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 5) Tools have poor usability Why is ontology authoring complex?
  8. 8. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Why are ontologies relevant and why we need better authoring tools • Widely used in science, biomed and industry • Semantics for linked data • Broader adoption even by amateurs • Current tools hinder their uptake
  9. 9. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 We interviewed 15 ontology authors
  10. 10. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Reported strategies for sensemaking, exploration and searching “The first thing would be to start from the top level of genes and just investigate the hierarchy and try to learn about it” (P1) - Brief description of the hierarchy - Summarise the axiomatic complexity  Provide overviews
  11. 11. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Reported strategies for sensemaking, exploration and searching “If you edit an ontology full-time you get very familiar with it, all of us can drill-down the ontology and find it quite easily” (P12) - Bookmarks and shortcuts - Landmarks  Provide filters
  12. 12. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Reported strategies for sensemaking, exploration and searching “undoing is very scary [...] you press undo and maybe you already navigated away from the view [...] and you don’t know what you actually undo so I never use undo, never!” (P5) - Give feedback about the consequences of actions - Provide a history of modifications  Increase situational awareness
  13. 13. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Reported strategies for ontology building “We had biologists filling out the templates, then we instantiate lots of axioms with these templates” (P6) - Spreadsheets, spreadsheets, spreadsheets - Design templates  Efficient ontology population methods
  14. 14. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Reported strategies for ontology building “There is so far no available tool but we do use some ontology mapping tool which is Bioportal” (P11) - Mapping and merging capabilities - Dealing with inconsistencies  Retrieval from external ontologies
  15. 15. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Reported strategies for reasoning, debugging & evaluation “Every axiom change, every class addition, every refactor I always run the reasoner.” (P8) - Incremental reasoning on the background - Identify complex axioms  Intelligent reasoning
  16. 16. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Reported strategies for reasoning, debugging & evaluation “We don’t have a formal mechanism for checking. We rely on the fact that the ontology is being used” (P14) - Unit tests - Competence questions  Evaluation features
  17. 17. Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools ACM CHI 2014 Conclusions • Ontology authoring is a fragmented landscape • Usability issues specific to ontologies • Authors employ workarounds • We provide a set of design insights
  18. 18. Markel Vigo, Caroline Jay, Robert Stevens University of Manchester (UK) ACM CHI 2014 More info at http://owl.cs.manchester.ac.uk/whatif/ @markelvigo markel.vigo@manchester.ac.uk www.markelvigo.info What’s next? Identifying authoring patterns

Editor's Notes

  • Ontologies are a set of logical axioms that represent a fieldof interest.
  • ×