Binary PIQ - A Tool for Querying SHOE

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Binary PIQ - A Tool for Querying SHOE

Parallel Understanding Systems Group
Department of Computer Science
University of Maryland at College Park


The Parka Interface for Queries (PIQ) allows users to construct queries graphically, and issues them to a PARKA knowledge base. When used with Exposé, the interface gives users a new way to browse the web by allowing them to submit complex queries and then open documents by clicking on the URLs in the results. This version of the PIQ only works when all relations have arity 2 (i.e., exactly two arguments). There is a newer N-ary version that allows relations with more than two arguments.

PIQ Applet

This applet will connect you to a PARKA Knowledge Base that contains knowledge gathered by Exposé. Currently, this KB contains information on four different computer science departments, but the most detailed information is on the PLUS lab, its members, and their publications and research. You may want to look at the CS Department Ontology to understand the kinds of relationships and categories you can query with.

This software is still under development. As such, it is subject to change at any time. If you find any bugs or have suggestions for improvement, send e-mail to Jeff Heflin.

Parka Interface Tutorial

Below is a short tutorial on how to use the Parka Interface. For a more detailed description of its function see the Parka Interface Documentation

Press the button above. After a short wait, the Parka Interface window will appear. In the status bar beneath the Menu, it should say "Finished Loading shoekb". To the left of this is a toolbar which consists of an arrow, a pointing finger, and a diagonal line. These tools are used as follows:

  • Arrow: Used to select and move objects in the Query Window.
  • Finger: Used to create new frame objects. These objects are used to specify the constants and variables in your query.
  • Line: Used to create new link. Links determine how two query elements are related.
Below this area is the Query Window. This is a large white space and is used to construct your queries. Below this is the Query Results window. If you have not submitted any queries, this area will be grey.

Creating a Query

To create a frame object, select the finger tool. Now click in the query window to place the new object. Type a name for the object in the status box and press return. If you want this object to repesent a constant constraint on your query, select the the check box to the right of the name. Note that when you do, the object's corners go from rounded to square. This is because variable objects have rounded corners and constant objects are rectangles. Repeat this for each frame you wish to create.

To create a link, select the line tool. Click on the object that represents the from end of the desired relationship then drag to the object that represents the to end. A dialog window will display the list of predicates you can use. Select one and press OK. If you have a color display, the from side of the link should be blue, and the to side should be red.

After all objects have been created and linked with the appropriate relationships, select Parka, Submit Query from the menu bar. A Query results window will appear, but you may have to enlarge it to get a better look at the results (this can be done by using the slider on the left slide of the window). A separate row will be returned for each set of variables that can be bound to the conditions specified in your query. If you click on a row, the corresponding bindings will be shown in the Query Window. If you double-click on a URL, a new broswer window will open, and the corresponding web page will be loaded.

Using the Browser

This section is not yet written

Example Queries

Below are some queries you might like to try on the SHOE Knowledge Base:

  • Find all of the members of the Parallel Understanding Systems group. Your query should look something like this. When the results have been returned, double-click on the URLs of the various memebers to see their homepages.
  • Find the titles and types of all Publications who's research topic is SHOE. Your query should look something like this. Once you have retrieved the results, click on some publications' URLs to view them. If you structured your query as we did our example, take a look at the type variable. This specifies exactly what kind of publication each is. In fact, none of these publications were explicitly declared to be Publications. Instead, this is inherited from the fact that they are Specifications, Conference Papers or Software. That's why we have to use the everyInstanceOf link between the constant Publication and the variable pub.

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