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A Demonstrator for Parallel Faceted Browsing

By Sven Buschbeck, Anthony Jameson, Raphaël Troncy, Houda Khrouf, Osma Suominen, and Adrian Spirescu (2012)

Proceedings of the EKAW 2012 Workshop on Intelligent Exploration of Semantic Data, Galway, Ireland.


The data exploration paradigm of faceted browsing has been applied successfully in many systems that provide access to either semantic data or more conventional databases. A general limitation is that the user can examine the results for only one query (i.e., one combination of facet value constraints) at a time. But there are many everyday tasks for which it is desirable to be able to compare the results for two or more queries or to refine several queries incrementally in parallel. In this paper, we introduce parallel faceted browsing which enables the user to construct a tree of queries and associated results whose structure captures the commonalities among the queries. The entities represented in this demonstrator are events associated with Helsinki’s role as the 2012 World Design Capital, as well as related events from other data sources that took place in Finland during the same period. Semantic Web technologies are used in the back-end for representing and reconciling those heterogeneous data sources. Several types of task have been identified in which parallel faceted browsing offers added value. Careful attention has been paid to interaction design with the goal of making this inherently more complex paradigm as intuitively understandable as normal faceted browsing. Readers are encouraged to try the EventMAP demonstrator itself at


The demonstrator available at the URL given in the abstract now incorporates a number of recent advances that were not mentioned in this workshop paper; and its repository contains events in and around Paris. A slightly earlier version that operates on the repository with events in and near Helsinki is available at

The demonstrator described in the paper was the winner of the challenge competition at IESD 2012. Its development was supported by the students in the 2012 course on User Interface Design at Saarland University, who created and tested a number of early prototypes.


Full Publication:  [PDF File]

BibTeX entry

  year = {2012},
  author = {{Buschbeck}, Sven and
            {Jameson}, Anthony and
            {Troncy}, Rapha\”{e}l and
            {Khrouf}, Houda and
            {Suominen}, Osma and
            {Spirescu}, Adrian},
  title = {A Demonstrator for Parallel Faceted Browsing},
  booktitle = {{Proceedings of the EKAW 2012 Workshop on Intelligent
    Exploration of Semantic Data}},
  address = {Galway, Ireland}}