Trellis Web User Guide:


This serves as a user manual to get comfortable with working on Trellis. If a more formal introduction to Trellis is required, you can visit this page or the Trellis home page.


Login Screen:

-          Can login without a password (currently).  After logging in, if the user already exists, you will see a list of purposes created by the user. Any new user is presented with 3 example purposes.


Main User Page:

-          If creating a new purpose:

-          Decide on a purpose.

  What is a purpose ?

-          Can be a decision that has to be made. Ex. a hiring decision.

-          Can be something you want to find out. Ex. tracing someone's roots.

-          Can be a simple annotation of knowledge present in text. Ex. Studying protein synthesis from a biology book.



Purpose Editor:

The Purpose Editor consists of 5 Frames.


The top-left frame is the ‘search frame’. You fire in queries from there, and also edit your conclusion (if any reached at).

The frame below the ‘search frame’ is the ‘query frame’. Here you get the results of your queries (‘Google’ Search).

The bottom-left frame is the ‘current selections’ frame. Here all the elements that have been collected so far are present.

The bottom frame on the right contains several buttons to make statements about the elements that are present in the ‘current selections’ frame.

The upper frame on the right contains the statements ordered in a tree structure.


The creation of any new purpose typically consists of the following phases.


Phase 1:

·         Searching and collecting web resources, which define events or sources (collectively called elements), related to the purpose.


-          You can select a web resource (from the search results) and add the selection to your resource pool by clicking the "Add Selections" button.

-          You can also add your own text (cut and paste, or type it out) with a referring URL (not always necessary) using "Add User Data".

-          URL's, which are not present in the search results, can be manually added. Add a "user data" with only title and URL. No text.

-          If the resource you added is a source, you can "Describe" it further by using the “Desc" button (in the ‘current selections’ frame).

-          Can ‘Rename’ elements, and also delete them (‘Del’).

-          The ‘Cache’ button re-fetches the page from the server and stores it locally.

-          ‘Toggle’ is used to switch between an online version of the element, and the locally cached copy.



Phase 2:

·         Adding Statements:

-          What is a statement ?

·         Given the set of elements, a statement is something that the user perceives about a few of those elements, and the relations between them.

      Ex. We have

                        Object "bad grades" -- according to--> source "Source1" -> Very Reliable

            So, the statement can be:

                        "I should hire Gates" not supported by "bad grades"

             - because "Source1"

                                     - which is very reliable.


-          The constructs (ex. "not supported by") between the elements are derived from standard libraries (discourse relations, temporal relations, etc.).

                  The user can also make up new constructs, which are added to the user library.

-          Statements end up having sub-statements, i.e. statements leading up to the parent statement.

-          In this way, all the statements, and sub-statements may (or may not) lead up to a conclusion.


·         Editing Features:

-          "Adding" a statement, brings up the "Unit editor window". Here one can select the elements, which are involved in the statement, and the relation between them.


-          A Reason element, as well as a Source element can also be added. The Source element can be further classified by its reliability and credibility. Also, there can be reasons why the source is considered as reliable, or as credible as stated.


-          After adding a statement, it can be changed as well (by using the “Edit” button) and deleted (using the "Delete" button).


-          For re-ordering the statements, one can move them around (drag and drop).

                        Left click and drag -> move the whole tree.

                        Right click and drag -> move just the statement.

While dragging, a dark ‘line’ indicates where (in between which elements), and a ‘box’ indicates where (inside which element) the selected element will end up.


-          If something goes wrong, one can restore the previous copy (just one undo) by using the "Restore" button.


-          One can also directly move some of the elements to the “Notes and other information” section by using the “Move->” button in the ‘current selections’ frame.


-          It is also possible to do the converse of making a statement, i.e. “Extract” the elements from a statement (in case the elements have been deleted from the ‘current selections’ frame)


If something seems missing while adding statements, most probably you have to add a few more elements: go back to Phase 1.



·         Imports: (Import Button)

      A shortcut to Phase 1 and Phase 2:


-          Lookup similar or relevant topics which other users have dealt with, and just import some of their statements (this will import the elements, as well as the statements)


-          After importing, one can edit them as well. (Note: on editing a user data imported from another user, the changes are reflected to the other user as well -> this constraint will be removed later)



Back to Main Screen:


  The whole reasoning just annotated by the user is captured in XML,RDF and DAML.


-          The XML file can be seen by clicking on the "XML" button.

-          The RDF file can be seen by clicking on the "RDF" button.

-          Show RDF Triples shows the triplets (object, subject & relation triplets)

-          The DAML instance file can be seen by clicking on the "RDF" button.

-          The DTD, the RDF Schema, the XML Schema, and the DAML ontology for Trellis can be viewed by clicking on their respective buttons.