OBO and OWL: Leveraging Semantic Web Technologies for the Life Sciences

  • Christine Golbreich
  • Matthew Horridge
  • Ian Horrocks
  • Boris Motik
  • Rob Shearer
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4825)


OBO is an ontology language that has often been used for modeling ontologies in the life sciences. Its definition is relatively informal, so, in this paper, we provide a clear specification for OBO syntax and semantics via a mapping to OWL. This mapping also allows us to apply existing Semantic Web tools and techniques to OBO. We show that Semantic Web reasoners can be used to efficiently reason with OBO ontologies. Furthermore, we show that grounding the OBO language in formal semantics is useful for the ontology development process: using an OWL reasoner, we detected a likely modeling error in one OBO ontology.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Golbreich
    • 1
  • Matthew Horridge
    • 2
  • Ian Horrocks
    • 3
  • Boris Motik
    • 3
  • Rob Shearer
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Versailles Saint-Quentin, 55 avenue de Paris, 78035 VersaillesFrance
  2. 2.School of Computer Science, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PLUK
  3. 3.Oxford University Computing Laboratory, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QDUK

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