Concept Relationship Editor: A visual interface to support the assertion of synonymy relationships between taxonomic classifications

Craig, Paul and Kennedy, Jessie (2008) Concept Relationship Editor: A visual interface to support the assertion of synonymy relationships between taxonomic classifications. In: Visualization and Data Analysis 2008, Proceedings of the SPIE. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, Bellingham, WA, ETATS-UNIS, San Jose, CA, pp. 680906-680912. ISBN 0277-786X

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An increasingly common approach being taken by taxonomists to define the relationships between taxa in alternative hierarchical classifications is to use a set-based notation which states relationship between two taxa from alternative classifications. Textual recording of these relationships is cumbersome and difficult for taxonomists to manage. While text based GUI tools are beginning to appear which ease the process, these have several limitations. Interactive visual tools offer greater potential to allow taxonomists to explore the taxa in these hierarchies and specify such relationships.
This paper describes the Concept Relationship Editor, an interactive visualisation tool designed to support the assertion of relationships between taxonomic classifications. The tool operates using an interactive space-filling adjacency layout which allows users to expand multiple lists of taxa with common parents so they can explore and add relationships between two classifications. Whenever selected lists contain too many items for them to be legible within the restrictions of available screen space the user can alleviate the problem by either operating in ‘lens mode’ or ‘scroll mode’. In ‘lens mode’ the layout is configured so that both of the classifications and all the relationships are completely visible on-screen. Here a fish-eye lens type distortion effect is applied under the cursor to allow taxa names with less assigned space to be made legible. In ‘scroll mode’ the layout assigns sufficient space for the labels of all expanded taxa lists to be legible and scroll bars can be used to navigate across the hierarchy of either classification. While the ‘lens mode’ provides context and allows for more direct comparison of relationships throughout the classifications, ‘scroll mode’ tends to allow for relationships to be added more efficiently between smaller groups of similarly classified taxa.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: 0277-786X
Additional Information: Copyright 2008 Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Taxonomy; Hierarchical classifications; Set based notation; Relationships; Visualisation; "Concept Relationship Editor" program; Operation; Benefits;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 000 Computer science, information & general works > 000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 004 Data processing & computer science
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
Library of Congress Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QH Natural history
Item ID: 3035
Depositing User: Computing Research
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2009 15:22
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2014 12:16

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