Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology

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MIT Press, Jul 31, 2015 - Computers - 248 pages
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In the era of "big data," science is increasingly information driven, and the potential for computers to store, manage, and integrate massive amounts of data has given rise to such new disciplinary fields as biomedical informatics. Applied ontology offers a strategy for the organization of scientific information in computer-tractable form, drawing on concepts not only from computer and information science but also from linguistics, logic, and philosophy. This book provides an introduction to the field of applied ontology that is of particular relevance to biomedicine, covering theoretical components of ontologies, best practices for ontology design, and examples of biomedical ontologies in use.

After defining an ontology as a representation of the types of entities in a given domain, the book distinguishes between different kinds of ontologies and taxonomies, and shows how applied ontology draws on more traditional ideas from metaphysics. It presents the core features of the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO), now used by over one hundred ontology projects around the world, and offers examples of domain ontologies that utilize BFO. The book also describes Web Ontology Language (OWL), a common framework for Semantic Web technologies. Throughout, the book provides concrete recommendations for the design and construction of domain ontologies.

 

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Contents

1 What Is an Ontology?
1
2 Kinds of Ontologies and the Role of Taxonomies
27
Domain Ontology Design
43
Terms Definitions and Classification
59
Continuants
85
Occurrents
121
7 The Ontology of Relations
131
8 Basic Formal Ontology at Work
151
Languages Editors Reasoners Browsers Tools for Reuse
173
Glossary
177
Web Links Mentioned in the Text Including Ontologies Research Groups Software and Reasoning Tools
187
Notes
189
Bibliography
201
Index
215
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About the author (2015)

Robert Arp is a researcher and analyst for the U.S. Army at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, who has worked on ontologies for the U.S. Air Force and the National Institutes of Health. He is the author of Scenario Visualization: An Evolutionary Account of Creative Problem Solving. Barry Smith is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Buffalo and Director of the National Center for Ontological Research. Andrew Spear is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.

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