W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org > May 2007

[hcls] Harmonization of labels, descriptions and definitions

From: <samwald@gmx.at>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2007 17:44:50 +0200
Cc: cjm@fruitfly.org
Message-ID: <20070525154450.137110@gmx.net>
To: William Bug <William.Bug@DrexelMed.edu>, public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org

> [2] For instance, definitions in the PATO OWL file (quality.owl) are  
> not visible in Protege.  The OWL version of PATO has an  
> AnnotationProperty called "oboInOwl:hasDefintion" that has the value  
> "@_:A4843".  

I and some other people have already nagged Chris about the representation of defintions and synonyms in the OWL versions of OBO ontologies.
This is partly related to a larger problem, namely the inhomogeneous representation of labels, descriptions and definitions among biomedical Semantic Web ontologies. I have started a Wiki page on this topic:


The page is intended to contain the following (please add to it / discuss!):

* Examples from biomedical ontologies of non-standard constructs to represent Labels, names, descriptions and definitions of entities.

* An analysis of the motivations behind the creation of these constructs

*A description of the problems that arise through a lack of harmonization (e.g. for queries and user interfaces)

* A review of the basic constructs in the RDF, RDFS and OWL vocabularies and their intended usage for labels, descriptions and definitions

* An informal recommendation for the representation of labels, descriptions and definitions and suggestions for the harmonization of biomedical ontologies in this regard.

I have started comparing the constructs from a few ontologies, but there are many additional ontologies that have created their own style for the representation of this information. We should try to find the smallest common denominator between all these approaches, because this really is a large hindrance to practical interoperability between our ontologies.

Matthias Samwald


Yale Center for Medical Informatics, New Haven /
Section on Medical Expert and Knowledge-Based Systems, Vienna /

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Received on Friday, 25 May 2007 15:45:08 UTC

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