Visualisation of Ontology Changes and Evolution: A Systematic Literature Review

Tracking #: 3622-4836

This paper is currently under review
Romana Pernisch
Daniëlle Dijkstra
Stefan Schlobach

Responsible editor: 
Cogan Shimizu

Submission type: 
Survey Article
Ontologies play an increasingly important role in organising knowledge. This comes with the challenge of keeping up with the changes within an ontology and the effect those changes have on the applications they are used in.Visualising changes can help users and ontology engineers alike to keep up with the evolution of an ontology, and selecting an appropriate visualisation tool can help this understanding process. However, determining a suitable visualisation tool can be challenging as there has been a plethora of tools and methods been introduces in the literature over the past two decades. This work provides a systematic overview of the existing ontology change visualisation tools by conducting a Systematic Literature Review (SLR), and analysing these tools w.r.t. their methods and availability. We identify 28 tools and methods among which we found three prevalent forms of displaying changes: lists, graphs and statistics. Of the 28 tools and methods, 12 tools are still available for use. Our analysis showed that in the earlier years, the focus of the visualisation was on displaying the changes, while in later years, the focus shifted to helping the user understand the changes and the greater picture of ontology evolution rather than individual changes. Our analysis provides a novel resource for selecting appropriate tools for visualising ontology changes and ontology evolution, and will enable researchers and practitioners to select the appropriate ontology change and evolution visualisation tools for their respective tasks.
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