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BACKGROUND The concept of function is central to both biology and technology, but neither in philosophy nor in formal ontology is there a generally accepted theory of functions. In particular, there is no consensus how to include functions into a top-level ontology or whether to include them at all. METHODS We first review current conceptions of functions(More)
Dispositions and tendencies feature significantly in the biomedical domain and therefore in representations of knowledge of that domain. They are not only important for specific applications like an infectious disease ontology, but also as part of a general strategy for modelling knowledge about molecular interactions. But the task of representing(More)
BACKGROUND In biomedical ontologies, mereological relations have always been subject to special interest due to their high relevance in structural descriptions of anatomical entities, cells, and biomolecules. This paper investigates two important subrelations of has_proper_part, viz. the relation has_grain, which relates a collective entity to its multiply(More)
Statements about the behavior of biochemical entities (e.g., about the interaction between two proteins) abound in the literature on molecular biology and are increasingly becoming the targets of information extraction and text mining techniques. We show that an accurate analysis of the semantics of such statements reveals a number of ambiguities that have(More)
Background: In order to improve ontology quality, tool-and language-related tutorials are not sufficient. Care must be taken to provide optimized curricula for teaching the representational language in the context of a semantically rich upper level ontology. The constraints provided by rigid top and upper level models assure that the onto-logies built are(More)
The task of ontology is to represent reality or, rather, to support the sciences in their representation of reality. In the last chapter, the reader became acquainted with an important means of doing so, namely: the technique of classification. But, in any classification, what are the very first kinds? What should the top level look like? In this chapter, I(More)
BACKGROUND Ontology Design Patterns (ODPs) are representational artifacts devised to offer solutions for recurring ontology design problems. They promise to enhance the ontology building process in terms of flexibility, re-usability and expansion, and to make the result of ontology engineering more predictable. In this paper, we analyze ODP repositories and(More)
The need for detailed description and modeling of cells drives the continuous generation of large and diverse datasets. Unfortunately, there exists no systematic and comprehensive way to organize these datasets and their information. CELDA (Cell: Expression, Localization, Development, Anatomy) is a novel ontology for the association of primary experimental(More)