Using Knowledge Anchors to Facilitate User Exploration of Data Graphs

Tracking #: 1981-3194

This paper is currently under review
Marwan Al-Tawil1
Vania Dimitrova
Dhaval Thakker

Responsible editor: 
Krzysztof Janowicz

Submission type: 
Full Paper
This paper investigates how to facilitate users’ exploration through data graphs for knowledge expansion. Our work focuses on knowledge utility – increasing users’ domain knowledge while exploring a data graph. We introduce a novel exploration support mechanism underpinned by the subsumption theory of meaningful learning, which postulates that new knowledge is grasped by starting from familiar concepts in the graph which serve as knowledge anchors from where links to new knowledge are made. A core algorithmic component for operationalising the subsumption theory for meaningful learning to generate exploration paths for knowledge expansion is the automatic identification of knowledge anchors in a data graph (KADG). We present several metrics for identifying KADG which are evaluated against familiar concepts in human cognitive structures. A subsumption algorithm that utilises KADG for generating exploration paths for knowledge expansion is presented, and applied in the context of a Semantic data browser in a music domain. The resultant exploration paths are evaluated in a task-driven experimental user study compared to free data graph exploration. The findings show that exploration paths, based on subsumption and using knowledge anchors, lead to significantly higher increase in the users’ conceptual knowledge and better usability than free exploration of data graphs. The work opens a new avenue in semantic data exploration which investigates the link between learning and knowledge exploration. This extends the value of exploration and enables broader applications of data graphs in systems where the end users are not experts in the specific domain.
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