Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Brief Bioinform. 2015 Nov;16(6):1069-80. doi: 10.1093/bib/bbv011. Epub 2015 Apr 10.

The role of ontologies in biological and biomedical research: a functional perspective.

Abstract

Ontologies are widely used in biological and biomedical research. Their success lies in their combination of four main features present in almost all ontologies: provision of standard identifiers for classes and relations that represent the phenomena within a domain; provision of a vocabulary for a domain; provision of metadata that describes the intended meaning of the classes and relations in ontologies; and the provision of machine-readable axioms and definitions that enable computational access to some aspects of the meaning of classes and relations. While each of these features enables applications that facilitate data integration, data access and analysis, a great potential lies in the possibility of combining these four features to support integrative analysis and interpretation of multimodal data. Here, we provide a functional perspective on ontologies in biology and biomedicine, focusing on what ontologies can do and describing how they can be used in support of integrative research. We also outline perspectives for using ontologies in data-driven science, in particular their application in structured data mining and machine learning applications.

KEYWORDS:

Semantic Web; data integration; data mining; ontology

PMID:
25863278
PMCID:
PMC4652617
DOI:
10.1093/bib/bbv011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center