Abstract: Irrespective of data size and complexity, query and exploration tools for accessing data resources remain a central linkage for human–data interaction. A fundamental barrier in making query interfaces easier to use, ultimately as easy as online shopping, is the lack of faceted, interactive capabilities. We propose to repurpose existing ontologies by transforming them into nested facet systems (NFS) to support human–data interaction. Two basic issues need to be addressed for this to happen: one is that the structure and quality of ontologies need to be examined and elevated for the purpose of NFS; the second is that mappings from data-source specific metadata to a corresponding NFS need to be developed to support this new generation of NFS-enabled web-interfaces. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of NFS and outline opportunities involved in using ontologies as NFS for querying and exploring data, especially in the biomedical domain.
Keywords: Web-interface, ontology, biomedical Big Data, nested facet system, user experience