A comparative user evaluation on visual ontology modeling using node-link diagrams
The emergence of several ontology modeling tools is motivated by the growing attention ontologies receive in scientific and industrial contexts. The available tools implement different ontology modeling paradigms, including text-based editors, graphical user interfaces with hierarchical trees and form widgets, and visual modeling approaches based on node-link diagrams. In this paper, we present an empirical user study comparing a visual ontology modeling approach, based on node-link diagrams, with a modeling paradigm that uses hierarchical trees and form widgets. In particular, the user study compares the two ontology modeling tools ProtÃ©gÃ© and WebVOWL Editor, each implementing one of the modeling paradigms. The involved participants were given tasks of ontology modeling and also answered reflective questions for the individual tools. We recorded the completion times of the modeling tasks and the errors made as well as the usersâ understanding of the conceptual spac es. The study indicates that visual ontology modeling, based on node-link diagrams, is comparatively easy to learn and is recommended especially for users with little experience in ontology modeling and its formalization. For more experienced users, no clear performance differences are found between the two modeling paradigms; both seem to have their pros and cons depending on the type of ontology and modeling context.