RDF Graph Visualization

April 2004

This page describes an experimental node-centric approach to RDF graph visualization. We use a search over literals to choose potential starting nodes and then browse via an interactive display which shows the area one arc back and two arcs forward from a selected node. In cases where a wider view is desired we sort and display nodes based on the number of incoming and outgoing arcs.

Here's an example screenshot showing the display after selecting the node "rdf:list" in the RDF Schema. During the real visualization all displayed nodes and arcs are live links which the user may follow.

 RDF Graph Visualization Screenshot

For further information please see HP Labs Technical Report HPL-2004-60.

Software

The software used for our experimental implementation is available under an open-source license. Please note that this was never intended to be of production quality. It was written quickly because we needed an internal solution and is being open-sourced in the hope that others might find the approach useful. We are unfortunately not able to offer any support for this experimental code but would be delighted to hear of any situations where you find it helpful.

Here's the raw source code: visualizer1.zip

To compile and run the code you'll also need Java (we used Java 1.4.1), the Jena RDF Library (we used version 2.1), and the Jetty HTTP Server (we used version 4.2.1).
To view the visualizations you'll need support for Scalable Vector Graphics (we used version 3.0 of the Adobe plugin for Internet Explorer on Windows).

License

Copyright (c) 2004 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.

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.

Contact

Craig.Sayers at hp.com
csayers at acm.org

http://craigsayers.com

April 2004