The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Supporting diagrammatic knowledge acquisition: an ontological analysis of Cartesian graphs

Cheng, Peter, Cupt, James and Shadbolt, Nigel (2001) Supporting diagrammatic knowledge acquisition: an ontological analysis of Cartesian graphs International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 54, (4), pp. 457-94.

Record type: Article


Cartesian graphs constitute an important class of knowledge representation devices. As part of a project on diagrammatic knowledge acquisition we have formulated principles that can underpin the construction, interpretation and use of Cartesian graphs in general and in the specific context of knowledge acquisition. Cartesian graphs are distinguished from other forms of representations by the manner in which they use two-dimensional space to encode quantities on interval or ratio scales. An ontological approach to the analysis of graphs was adopted in which a framework for mapping between the EngMath ontology for engineering mathematics and an ontology of visual components of graphs was developed, the GraphRep framework. GraphRep considers the roles of physical dimensions, measurement units, scales of measurement, functional relations amongst quantities and magnitudes in the generation and interpretation of graphs. It provides a topology of standard graphs and rules for the construction of composite graphs. The utility of the framework is demonstrated by using it: (1) to explain why a particular type of complex composite graph is often used for problem solving in thermodynamics; (2) to analyse the limitations of existing software packages for visualizing data, such as spreadsheets, and to suggest the improvements in their design; and (3) to provide constraints and guidelines for the design of procedures and software to support diagrammatic knowledge acquisition with Cartesian graphs.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: April 2001
Organisations: Web & Internet Science


Local EPrints ID: 256364
PURE UUID: 4b5f7cba-3a6a-4e5a-9781-72b169e89e98

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Mar 2002
Last modified: 24 Jul 2017 16:42

Export record


Author: Peter Cheng
Author: James Cupt
Author: Nigel Shadbolt

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.