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Concept Visualisation over Multiple Taxonomic Hierarchies

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Presentation given at ISEI (International Conference on Ecological Informatics), Dec. 2006, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Concerns visualising concept links between hierarchies as being more accurate than naive name matching

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Concept Visualisation over Multiple Taxonomic Hierarchies

  1. 1. Visual Exploration of Alternative Taxonomies through Concepts Martin Graham & Jessie Kennedy Napier University, Edinburgh, UK Laura Downey LTER, University of New Mexico, USA ISEI5, Santa Barbara, Dec. 4-6, 2006
  2. 2. Taxonomic difficulties Ecologists identify specimens with a taxonomic guide… This is Blah blahus according to A But what if ecologists need to analyse and integrate data sets named with different guides?
  3. 3. Taxonomic difficulties Integrating data sets by names may cause errors due to different taxonomists giving different definitions to the same names One solution is to use concepts* and the relationships defined between them by taxonomic experts to allow integration of data sets *(c.f. Monday’s talk by Kennedy)
  4. 4. Concepts are more accurate… Blah Blahus Blah Namus Blah Family Gah Blahus Gah Blah Extrus Blah Namus Blah Family Gah Blahus Gah Blah Blahus Blah Namus Blah Family Gah Blahus Gah Blah Blahus
  5. 5. Concepts are more accurate… Names Blah Blahus Blah Namus Blah Family Gah Blahus Gah Blah Extrus Blah Namus Blah Family Gah Blahus Gah Blah Blahus Blah Namus Blah Family Gah Blahus Gah Blah Blahus ? Blah Blahus
  6. 6. Concepts are more accurate… Concepts Blah Blahus Blah Namus Blah Family Gah Blahus Gah Blah Extrus Blah Blahus Blah Namus Blah Family Gah Blahus Gah Blah Blahus Blah Namus Blah Family Gah Blahus Gah Blah Namus Blah Namus Gah Blahus Includes according to Jones Includes according to Jones Congruent according to Smith
  7. 7. Visualisation • Need to show concept relationships • A solution: Information visualisation • Display information intuitively • Used when information has no physical origin – Complement to scientific visualisation where data is rooted in physical measurements – Taxonomies are usually represented using a hierarchical format • Not just pretty pictures, also detailed interaction with displayed data sets
  8. 8. Our Visualisation
  9. 9. Concept interaction • Lines are used for concept relationships as relations are not 1:1. There may be several related concepts per taxonomy.
  10. 10. Concept interaction • Line colouring indicates type of relationship… – Blue = everything in this concept matches... – White = something in this concept matches… – Thus a blue-blue line is a congruent match (everything matches everything) – A blue-white line means everything in a concept matches something in another concept (an includes relationship)
  11. 11. Concept interaction • Lines are only drawn for selected concepts, otherwise the display begins to resemble a ball of wool – with dire consequences for comprehension… (earlier graph visualisation of overlapping taxonomies)
  12. 12. Example – Ranunculus texensis
  13. 13. Deducing relationships • Conclusions can be drawn from following relationships as long as the overall relationship makes logical sense • This means that a taxonomy does not need concept relationships mapped to all other possibly related taxonomies – Relationships in some cases can be deduced via intermediate taxonomies
  14. 14. Feedback • Feedback from demonstrations with 4 sets of potential users – Observers composed of Taxonomists, Ecologists, Publishers, Collection Managers… – Taxonomists/Ecologists most keen, see scope for concepts – Produced list of changes / requirements for tool (some of which have been incorporated already) • Geography data • Filter relations by type
  15. 15. Conclusion • Concept data is more accurate than names for integrating ecological data sets • A graphical tool to display and explore these relationships could therefore be beneficial • Feedback from observers so far is generally positive, but especially for conveying concept relationship data • Still looking for feedback - volunteers for demos or user testing welcome m.graham @ napier.ac.uk

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