Towards valid and reusable reference alignments - ten basic quality checks for ontology alignments and their application to three different reference data sets

J Biomed Semantics. 2012 Apr 24;3 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S4. doi: 10.1186/2041-1480-3-S1-S4.


Identifying relationships between hitherto unrelated entities in different ontologies is the key task of ontology alignment. An alignment is either manually created by domain experts or automatically by an alignment system. In recent years, several alignment systems have been made available, each using its own set of methods for relation detection. To evaluate and compare these systems, typically a manually created alignment is used, the so-called reference alignment. Based on our experience with several of these reference alignments we derived requirements and translated them into simple quality checks to ensure the alignments' validity and also their reusability. In this article, these quality checks are applied to a standard reference alignment in the biomedical domain, the Ontology Alignment Evaluation Initiative Anatomy track reference alignment, and two more recent data sets covering multiple domains, including but not restricted to anatomy and biology.