eTaRDiS is a VR-based tool for the immersive exploration of knowledge graphs. The first tool of its kind, eTaRDiS provides a new technology and methodology for integrating knowledge graphs with virtual reality. This technology is foundational for the development of CoAI: photo-realistic simulations of knowledge graphs representing common sense knowledge about the affordances of objects and the goals of actions can help guide a system in cooperative joint action with a human partner.

A publicly accessible web-based version of eTaRDiS is currently in development, and will soon be accessible from the CoAI Virtual Research and Training Building.

A test case: exploring history with eTaRDiS

To investigate the potential of eTaRDiS, CoAI member Philipp Cimiano worked with collaborators in the digital humanities to conduct a study in which historians and laypersons used eTaRDiS to explore historical resources in DBPedia and Wikidata and discover connections among different historical persons and events. You can download a report of the study, and learn more about the project on the eTaRDiS webpage.

The user enters eTaRDiS through the Hub, which includes an interface for searching and access multimodal resources for historical events and persons.

From the Hub, the user instructs eTaRDiS to create a historical Fragment that organizes resources on a 3-dimensional sphere centered on the user in virtual space. The positions of resources in the sphere reflect their relations along different dimensions chosen by the user, such as time, physical location, or semantic distance.

The user can enter the Fragment to navigate and locate resources to mark for further use. eTaRDiS provides tools for exploring spatio-temporal relations among historical persons and events.

Using the three-dimensional space in immersive scenarios makes it possible to observe the actions of people in a network of space and time that makes new connections visible, leveraging knowledge graphs for the work of historians, learners, and others.