ProbOnto: ontology and knowledge base of probability distributions

Bioinformatics. 2016 Sep 1;32(17):2719-21. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btw170. Epub 2016 Apr 3.


Motivation: Probability distributions play a central role in mathematical and statistical modelling. The encoding, annotation and exchange of such models could be greatly simplified by a resource providing a common reference for the definition of probability distributions. Although some resources exist, no suitably detailed and complex ontology exists nor any database allowing programmatic access.

Results: ProbOnto, is an ontology-based knowledge base of probability distributions, featuring more than 80 uni- and multivariate distributions with their defining functions, characteristics, relationships and re-parameterization formulas. It can be used for model annotation and facilitates the encoding of distribution-based models, related functions and quantities.

Availability and implementation:


Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Knowledge Bases*
  • Probability*