ProtégéVOWL: VOWL Plugin for Protégé

VOWL Specification »

ProtégéVOWL is a Protégé plugin for the user-oriented visualization of ontologies. It implements the Visual Notation for OWL Ontologies (VOWL) by providing graphical depictions for elements of the Web Ontology Language (OWL) that are combined to a force-directed graph layout representing the ontology. ProtégéVOWL is based on VOWL 2, which focuses on the visualization of the ontology schema (i.e., the classes, properties and datatypes, also known as TBox), while it does not consider individuals and data values (the ABox).

Note that ProtégéVOWL has some known bugs and does not implement all visual elements defined in the VOWL 2 specification. A more complete implementation of VOWL 2 is provided by the web application WebVOWL.


One-sentence installation instructions: Download JAR file, copy it to the plugins folder of Protégé, start Protégé and activate the plugin via Window → Tabs → VOWL.


Installation of ProtégéVOWL

  1. Install Protégé (if not already installed)
  2. Copy JAR file to the plugins folder of Protégé
  3. Start Protégé and activate the VOWL plugin
  4. Verify installation
  5. Customize ProtégéVOWL

There is also a Video Demo and a Demo Paper of ProtégéVOWL.


1. Install Protégé (if not already installed)

ProtégéVOWL has been developed for the ontology editor Protégé that needs to be downloaded and installed first. ProtégéVOWL requires at least version 4 of Protégé Desktop that is available at protege.stanford.edu free of charge.

2. Copy JAR file to the plugins folder of Protégé

ProtégéVOWL consists of a JAR file that can be downloaded here:

Download ProtégéVOWL plugin (beta 0.1.3) ↓ (~1MB)

The JAR file must be copied to the plugin folder of Protégé that can be found at: <installation_path>\Protege_4.x\plugins\.

3. Start Protégé and activate the VOWL plugin

After Protégé has been started, the VOWL plugin can be activated via the Window menu (see Figure 1).

Activate VOWL plugin
Figure 1. Activate the VOWL plugin in Protégé.

4. Verify Installation

A new tab entitled VOWL should be displayed next to the other tabs in Protégé (see Figure 2).

If this tab is selected, the active ontology is visualized using the VOWL notation. If nothing is visualized, an ontology first needs to be opened with Protégé (e.g. by selecting Open from URI... in the File menu and entering the URI http://purl.org/muto/core#).

step3 installation
Figure 2. User interface of ProtégéVOWL.

5. Customize ProtégéVOWL

The user interface of ProtégéVOWL is structured as follows (see Figure 2):

  • VOWL Viewer - displays the ontology visualization;
  • VOWL Sidebar - lists details about the selected element;
  • VOWL Controls - allow to adapt the force-directed graph layout.

The user interface can be customized with the small icons in the upper right of the views. The views can also be individually (de-)activated via the Window menu (Window → Views → Ontology views → VOWL Controls/Sidebar/Viewer).


Video Demo


Source Code

The source code of ProtégéVOWL is publicly available on GitHub.


Demo Paper

Read more about ProtégéVOWL in the following demo paper:

Lohmann, S.; Negru, S.; Bold, D.: The ProtégéVOWL Plugin: Ontology Visualization for Everyone. Proceedings of ESWC 2014 Satellite Events, LNCS 8798, pp. 395-400, Springer, 2014. [BibTex]


License

ProtégéVOWL is released under the MIT license

Copyright (c) 2014 David Bold, Steffen Lohmann, Stefan Negru

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.