Visualization Design for a Web Interface to the Large-Scale Linked Lexical Resource UBY

This project aims at the redesign of the visualization component in the Web user interface (Web UI) to the large-scale linked lexical resource UBY, see

UBY contains expert-constructed (e.g., WordNet, FrameNet, VerbNet) and collaboratively constructed (e.g., Wiktionary, Wikipedia) resources for English and German.
All resources contained in UBY distinguish not only different words but also their senses. A distinguishing feature of UBY is that the different resources are aligned to each other at the word sense level, i.e. there are links connecting equivalent word senses from different resources.

In the context of exploring the usually large number of senses for an arbitrary search word, the UBY Web UI should support the user in assessing the added value of sense links for particular Natural Language Processing applications. It is important to emphasize that this is an open research question for most applications. The targeted user groups of the UBY Web UI are researchers in the field of Natural Language Processing and in the Digital Humanities.


Example: Design variants for displaying the alignments of a single lemma.


Figure 1: Graph visualization for the lemma “run”. Each sense is displayed as a rectangle (a sense node) and is labeled with the corresponding sense id. Each resource is assigned a distinct color that is used for color-encoding the resource membership of a sense. Senses that are aligned to each other are linked to an alignment node (red nodes) which itself is linked to the root node respresenting the lemma of interest (black node in the middle). Similarly, all nodes that are not part of an alignment are directly linked to the root node.

Figure 2: Experiment with a more advanced graph layout algorithm (stress layout with manual adjustments); again the lemma "run" is shown. Compared to Fig. 1, we adapted the colors in a way that the different resources are assigned colors with a similar perceptual difference (to avoid the undesired effect of grouping) and removed unnecessary labels.

Figure 3: A grid-based design (here for the lemma “align”) stressing the fact that alignments form clusters. The view contains one column per sense cluster and one row per sense.

Figure 4: In the final cluster-based design each sense is represented as a colored circle (where color = resource). Senses within the same cluster are grouped together and enclosed with a border line. Within each cluster the senses are ordered according to their resource membership which eases an estimation of the distribution of resources.


A poster paper describing the iterative and highly collaborative design process and summarizing lessons learned can be found here: Is there a Value in Detours? - Experiences with Designing a Visual Browser for the Linked Lexical Resource UBY

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