Concept maps

The method concept mapping for sure is the most competing method to our approach. In fact we wish that we could have used a fast and expressive concept mapping tool in order to model ontologies on a graphical interaction paradigm. However, after playing with different mindmap and concept map tools we found that freemind by far won the usability competition in terms of full keyboard support, it's map navigation features and i.e. the underlying basic knowledge representation paradigm "tree". We decided to stick to the more simple tree (as opposed to graph) representation of knowledge by design in order to provide a lightweight and comprehensible authoring methodology.

A more generic problem often is (but not necessarily has to be) related to concept mapping tools: Quite often such tools only use a specifically defined XML format (like the, Concept Mapping Extensible Language (CXL), defined by ) in order to represent concept maps. The problem with XML is that it completely lacks semantics. Proof: There are some XML schemata for OWL (resp. concept maps) available. They inform us how to serialize an OWL ontology (resp. a concept map) to a syntactically correct XML representation. However, there are many different OWL ontologies (resp. concept maps) around with different semantics. All these ontologies are reduced to the same schema if being serialized in OWL (resp. a concept map). This is because XML schema is merely a syntax definition, but not a semantic model.

As long as there is no explicit description of how to translate concept map objects into semantic representations a concept map is semantically as poor as a plain mindmap. However: Of course you easily could apply our node annotation language to a concept map in order to extract semantics from a (in fact: from nearly each) graphical representation.

Mind 2 Onto

An eight year old predecessor of semAuth is mind2onto, which was distributed with ontoEdit, an early predecessor of the ontology engineering workbench OntoStudio from

Source: , slides 34, 37,38

The semantic export of mind2onto was restricted to class trees. The authors of mind2onto claim, that the mind mapping approch is to unstructured and to weakly defined to work as a basis for more complex ontology modelling approaches (slide 37).

The node tagging system of semAuth overcomes these shortcomings. In fact we believe that semAuth is a genuine innovation in the field of mind mapping based knowledge modelling.

Semantic Wikis

The Semantic Media Wiki (SMW), a semantically enhanced version of the platform of Wikipedia, is able to imports and export OWL DLP ontologies. Each ontology object is represented by a single page, the subject of a semantic links by design is the page's title. Bird's eye visualizations of ontology structures exist - there is even a mindmap visualization available - but they follow an interaction paradigm which is different to the wiki editing paradigm.

While a SMW is a perfect tool for collaborate ontology fact base editing, it lacks the possibility to state arbitrary triples on pages which are not identical with the subject of a triple: You cannot express e.g. "Goethe wrote Faust" on the page of (say) Weimar. This design principle of SMW tangles page management and ontology management very tightly. In effect single source publishing becomes difficult with SMW compared to semAuth.

An earlier version of semAuth was able to export also an SMW XML archive of rendered pages plus metadata. This feature was useful for seeding a wiki based on an existing knowledge representation. It could easily be re-implemented in the current version on request.