Towards the ontological foundations of symbolic biological theories

Artif Intell Med. 2007 Mar;39(3):237-50. doi: 10.1016/j.artmed.2006.12.001. Epub 2007 Feb 22.


Objective: Support for the symbolic representation of the physical structure of living organisms by an ontologically solid and logically sound foundation as a basis for formal reasoning.

Methods: A set of canonical relations and attributes necessary for empirically adequate descriptions of biological entities is proposed.

Results: It is shown how a broad range of biological organisms and their parts can be represented by cascading theories which are ordered by the dimensions of granularity, development, species, and canonicity.

Conclusion: The proposed representation of biological objects is non-redundant and compatible with inter- and intra-species similarities, developmental stages and pathological deviations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research / methods*
  • Computational Biology*
  • Decision Trees
  • Growth and Development
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Natural Language Processing*
  • Pathology
  • Semantics
  • Species Specificity
  • Terminology as Topic*
  • Vocabulary, Controlled*