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To enhance the treatment of relations in biomedical ontologies we advance a methodology for providing consistent and unambiguous formal definitions of the relational expressions used in such ontologies in a way designed to assist developers and users in avoiding errors in coding and annotation. The resulting Relation Ontology can promote interoperability of(More)
We propose a modular formal ontology of the biomedical domain with two components, one for biological objects, corresponding broadly to anatomy, and one for biological processes, corresponding broadly to physiology. The result constitutes what might be described as a joint venture between two perspectives--of so-called three-dimensionalism and(More)
There is a basic distinction, in the realm of spatial boundaries, between bona fide boundaries on the one hand, and fiat boundaries on the other. The former are just the physical boundaries of old. The latter are exemplified especially by boundaries induced through human demarcation, for example in the geographic domain. The classical problems connected(More)
Many existing biomedical vocabulary standards rest on incomplete, inconsistent or confused accounts of basic terms pertaining to diseases, diagnoses, and clinical phenotypes. Here we outline what we believe to be a logically and biologically coherent framework for the representation of such entities and of the relations between them. We defend a view of(More)
New specimens of middle Eocene Basilosaurus isis from Egypt include the first functional pelvic limb and foot bones known in Cetacea. These are important in corroborating the intermediate evolutionary position of archaeocetes between generalized Paleocene land mammals that used hind limbs in locomotion and Oligocene-to- Recent whales that lack functional(More)
The Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA) symbolically represents the structural organization of the human body from the macromolecular to the macroscopic levels, with the goal of providing a robust and consistent scheme for classifying anatomical entities on the basis of explicit definitions. This scheme also provides a template for modeling pathology,(More)
OBJECTIVE The National Cancer Institute Thesaurus is described by its authors as "a biomedical vocabulary that provides consistent, unambiguous codes and definitions for concepts used in cancer research" and which "exhibits ontology-like properties in its construction and use". We performed a qualitative analysis of the Thesaurus in order to assess its(More)
A granular partition is a way of dividing up, or classifying, or mapping a certain portion of reality. We characterize partitions at two levels: as systems of cells and subcells, and in terms of their relation to reality. We define a notion of well-formedness for partitions, and we give an account of what it means for a partition to project onto objects in(More)
The concept of niche (setting, context, habitat, environment) has been little studied by ontologists, in spite of its wide application in a variety of disciplines from evolutionary biology to economics. What follows is a first formal theory of this concept, a theory of the relations between objects and their niches. The theory builds upon existing work on(More)
and the participants in the Greensboro meeting for helpful comments. 2. This scheme is outlined by Hoffman and Rosenkrantz in Chapter One of their 1994. Unlike Hoffman and Rosenkrantz, however, I am interested not in the scheme as such but in the reality which the scheme describes. The reality is indeed independent of the scheme: the discipline of(More)