Medizinische Universit├Ąt Graz - Research portal

Logo MUG Resarch Portal

Selected Publication:

SHR Neuro Cancer Cardio Lipid

Santana da Silva, F; Jansen, L; Freitas, F; Schulz, S.
Ontological interpretation of biomedical database content.
J Biomed Semantics. 2017; 8(1):24-24 [OPEN ACCESS]
Web of Science PubMed PUBMED Central FullText FullText_MUG


Authors Med Uni Graz:
Schulz Stefan

Dimensions Citations:

Plum Analytics:
Number of Figures: 1
Biological databases store data about laboratory experiments, together with semantic annotations, in order to support data aggregation and retrieval. The exact meaning of such annotations in the context of a database record is often ambiguous. We address this problem by grounding implicit and explicit database content in a formal-ontological framework. By using a typical extract from the databases UniProt and Ensembl, annotated with content from GO, PR, ChEBI and NCBI Taxonomy, we created four ontological models (in OWL), which generate explicit, distinct interpretations under the BioTopLite2 (BTL2) upper-level ontology. The first three models interpret database entries as individuals (IND), defined classes (SUBC), and classes with dispositions (DISP), respectively; the fourth model (HYBR) is a combination of SUBC and DISP. For the evaluation of these four models, we consider (i) database content retrieval, using ontologies as query vocabulary; (ii) information completeness; and, (iii) DL complexity and decidability. The models were tested under these criteria against four competency questions (CQs). IND does not raise any ontological claim, besides asserting the existence of sample individuals and relations among them. Modelling patterns have to be created for each type of annotation referent. SUBC is interpreted regarding maximally fine-grained defined subclasses under the classes referred to by the data. DISP attempts to extract truly ontological statements from the database records, claiming the existence of dispositions. HYBR is a hybrid of SUBC and DISP and is more parsimonious regarding expressiveness and query answering complexity. For each of the four models, the four CQs were submitted as DL queries. This shows the ability to retrieve individuals with IND, and classes in SUBC and HYBR. DISP does not retrieve anything because the axioms with disposition are embedded in General Class Inclusion (GCI) statements. Ambiguity of biological database content is addressed by a method that identifies implicit knowledge behind semantic annotations in biological databases and grounds it in an expressive upper-level ontology. The result is a seamless representation of database structure, content and annotations as OWL models.
Find related publications in this database (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Biological Ontologies -
Databases, Factual -

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Biological database
Data semantics
© Meduni GrazImprint