In the Head of the Beholder: Comparing Different Proof Representations

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Ontologies provide the logical underpinning for the Semantic Web, but their consequences can sometimes be surprising and must be explained to users. A promising kind of explanations are proofs generated via automated reasoning. We report about a series of studies with the purpose of exploring how to explain such formal logical proofs to humans. We compare different representations, such as tree- vs. text-based visualizations, but also vary other parameters such as length, interactivity, and the shape of formulas. We did not find evidence to support our main hypothesis that different user groups can understand different proof representations better. Nevertheless, when participants directly compared proof representations, their subjective rankings showed some tendencies such as that most people prefer short tree-shaped proofs. However, this did not impact the user’s understanding of the proofs as measured by an objective performance measure.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Joint Conference on Rules and Reasoning (RuleML+RR’22)
EditorsGuido Governatori, Anni-Yasmin Turhan
PublisherSpringer, Berlin [u. a.]
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 13752

External IDs

Scopus 85145252219
dblp conf/ruleml/AlrabbaaBHKKRW22
Mendeley 412ef367-fe40-3d7f-b893-7565520e0e72
ORCID /0000-0001-9936-0943/work/142238131


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