From: John Flynn (
Date: 08/29/01


The idea was to provide a relatively simple and straightforward way to
provide a graphical representation of DAML+OIL ontologies. On several
occasions I have been asked for an example of a DAML+OIL ontology and I
would show the requestor our current Animal ontology example from the
DAML+OIL language description on the DAML web site. It is not easy to
quickly look at the text version of that ontology and have a feel for what
the ontology really represents, especially for a non-computer scientist. In
order to help explain the concept of a DAML+OIL ontology by showing what one
looked like, I decided to create a graphical representation of the example
ontology. I played with the UML Static Structure Diagrams, as you mentioned,
but I was not able to convey the one-to-one correlation between the DAML+OIL
ontology markup and the graphical representation of that same markup that I
wanted. The goal was to lay the actual markup and the graphical
representation side-by-side and walk through the markup by visualizing how
the ontology ties together. Every construct in the markup should be easily
understandable in the graphical representation, sort of like a flow chart of
a computer program.

Visio is a reasonably powerful environment. There may be potential to:
- Create constraints on the icons to prevent illegal connections or warn of
potential syntactical problems.
- Link popup text markup with the icons so that you can readily see the
markup that matches specific objects and relationships on the drawing.
- Create graphical macros of commonly used objects and relationships.
- Generate markup from the drawing.
- Generate drawings from the markup.


John Flynn
(703) 284-4612
DAML Integration and Transition PM
BBN Technologies

-----Original Message-----
From: Kogut, Paul A []
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 10:29 AM
To: 'John Flynn';
Subject: RE: VisioDAML


Could you please clarify the purpose of this graphical representation.
What will it be used for? Presentations? Tools? Other?

Why don't you try using Visio's UML Static Structure Diagrams (class
augmented with a UML profile for DAML?

Paul Kogut

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Flynn []
> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:48 AM
> To:
> Subject:      VisioDAML
> I have created a Visio template that includes a stencil with graphical
> representations of all DAML+OIL language constructs. You can drag and drop
> the various DAML+OIL constructs onto the drawing page to create the
> representation of an ontology. Its initial purpose is to provide a
> relatively easy means to graphically represent DAML ontologies.  I will
> post it on for download soon, but first I wanted to get some
> comments on some of the graphical conventions. A JPEG file of the
> VisioDAML drawing of the DAML+OIL revised example ontology (less
> instances) is attached.
> The example ontology is at:
> <>
> Some specific questions: Should the inverseOf and disjointWith connectors
> have arrow-points at both ends as shown in the VisioDAML drawing? Should
> any of the other connectors have arrow-points at both ends?
> Also, the dashed-line boxes labeled URI represent references in the
> example ontology to data types that are remotely declared. On the
> VisioDAML drawing when you mouse over the dashed-line box a comment
> appears showing the actual URI. Any better ideas on how to represent these
> remote declarations?
> Any other comments on the drawing conventions are most welcome.
> Note that the graphical representation of the DAML+OIL revised example
> ontology makes readily apparent some of the errors in the example. The
> Class FullTimeOccupation and the ObjectProperties, hasOccupation and
> hasSpouse, are colored red in the VisioDAML drawing to illustrate they are
> not declared anywhere in the example ontology. Also, the
> TransitiveProperties, has Ancestor and descendant, as well as the
> DataTypeProperty shirtsize, can be seen at the right side of the drawing
> and are not connected to any other part of the example ontology.
> John
> John Flynn
> (703) 284-4612
> DAML Integration and Transition PM
> BBN Technologies
>   << File: Animal2.jpg >>

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