Use of Semantic Web and Web 2.0 techniques could enable domain experts such as engineers to be involved in the modelling of a problem such as product design, and so understand, assess, and develop possible solutions. The article also examines how modelling, ontologies and Semantic Web/Web 2.0 technology can aid in collaborative management of complex systems such as those involved in process modelling and product design. Visualisation of the most useful representation of the collaborative knowledge and models, and translation between the human and computing representation of this is important for this collaborative modelling.
Visualisation is necessary to provide traceability for decision making, as an audit trail for information, to justify a decision and/or cost, or to understand a process, or a product data structure. It is necessary to navigate a database in order to validate it, the structure of the visual interface needs to show the structure of the data, and the model. The best way to do this is to relate them all so that any change to the database, changes the structure of the model and this changes the structure of the visualisation, or vice versa. Semantic search allows someone to see results or individual items but enables going straight to these items, that does not show the context and the model is still a ‘black box’, unless the Semantic search actually returns the relevant portion of the structure so that the context of the returned information is displayed.
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