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The Pathetic Fallacy of RDF

schraefel, m.c. and Karger, David (2006) The Pathetic Fallacy of RDF At International Workshop on the Semantic Web and User Interaction (SWUI) 2006, Georgia.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


The most popular visualization of RDF - the underlying language to represent the Semantic Web – is a Great Big Graph (GBG) or Big Fat Graph (BFG) if one prefers. By graph, we mean representations with nodes and edges to model the relationships within the space represented. Why are they the default representation? The answer that is usually proferred is that the Semantic Web is a Graph, ipso facto we use graphs to represent it. This notion that data should be presented to the user as it is represented in the computer is what we propose as the pathetic fallacy of RDF. In the following discussion, we consider examples of the pathetic fallacy in terms of the interaction challenge of * what knowledge these graphs communicate, * what tasks they support, and * whether these are the optimal paradigms for these representations/tasks. From this context, we investigate the question, are graphs the main default representation for the Semantic Web and if not, how might we think about formalized representations for the Semantic Web in order to make accessible the promised benefits of the Semantic Web for knowledge building.

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Published date: 2006
Additional Information: Event Dates: Nov 2007
Venue - Dates: International Workshop on the Semantic Web and User Interaction (SWUI) 2006, Georgia, 2007-11-01
Keywords: rdf, visualization, usability, semantic web, mspace, haystack
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity


Local EPrints ID: 262911
PURE UUID: 1e1c8b09-1439-4847-b5ea-d18d023290a9

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Date deposited: 17 Aug 2006
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 08:46

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Author: m.c. schraefel
Author: David Karger

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