A Visual Approach to Semantic Query Design Using a Web-Based Graphical Query Designer

Query formulation is a key aspect of information retrieval, contributing to both the efficiency and usability of many semantic applications. A number of query languages, such as SPARQL, have been developed for the Semantic Web; however, there are, as yet, few tools to support end users with respect to the creation and editing of semantic queries. In this paper we introduce NITELIGHT, a Web-based graphical tool for semantic query construction that is based on the W3C SPARQL specification. NITELIGHT combines a number of features to support end-users with respect to the creation of SPARQL queries. These include a columnar ontology browser, an interactive graphical design surface, a SPARQL-compliant visual query language, a SPARQL syntax viewer and an integrated semantic query results browser. The functionality of each of these components is described in the current paper. In addition, we discuss the potential contribution of the NITELIGHT tool to rule creation/editing and semantic integration capabilities.

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