A System for Debugging Missing Is-a Structure in Networked Ontologies

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Ontologies are recognized as a key technology for semantics-based integration of the many available biomedical data sources. However, developing ontologies is not an easy task and the resulting ontologies may have defects affecting the results of ontology-based data integration and retrieval. In this paper we present a system for debugging ontologies regarding an important kind of modeling defects. Our system supports a domain expert to detect and repair missing is-a structure in ontologies in a semi-automatic way. The input for our system is a set of ontologies networked by correct mappings between their terms. Our tool uses the ontologies and mappings as domain knowledge to detect missing is-a relations in these ontologies. It also assists the user in repairing the ontologies by generating and recommending possible ways of repairing and executing the chosen repairing strategy. The detection and repairing phases can be interleaved. We present our approach, an implemented system as well as an experiment with two anatomy ontologies.