Graphol: Ontology Representation through Diagrams

Marco Console, Domenico Lembo, Valerio Santarelli, Domenico Fabio Savo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper we present Graphol, a novel language for the diagrammatic representation of Description Logic (DL) ontologies. Graphol is designed with the aim of offering a completely visual representation to the users (notably, no formulas need to be used in the diagrams), thus helping the understanding of people not skilled in logic. At the same time, it provides designers with simple mechanisms for ontology editing, which free them from having to write down complex textual syntax. Through Graphol we can specify SROIQ(D) ontologies, thus our language essentially captures the OWL 2 standard. In this respect, we developed a basic software tool to translate Graphol ontologies realized with the yEd graph editor into OWL 2 functional syntax specifications. We conducted some initial user evaluation tests, involving designers skilled in conceptual or ontology modeling and users without specific logic background. From these tests, we obtained promising results about the effectiveness of our language for both visualization and editing of ontologies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformal Proceedings of the 27th International Workshop on Description Logics, Vienna, Austria, July 17-20, 2014.
PublisherCEUR Workshop Proceedings (
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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