Establishing best practices, tools and services for the application and management of ontologies and their mappings for Life Science industry

Project Deliverables

The project has delivered guidelines and tools recommendations. It went on to define the requirements for an enterprise quality, ontologies mapping service. This enabled implementation of a prototype Ontologies Mappings Service for the phenotype and disease domain, working with the Samples, Phenotypes and Ontologies Team at EMBL-EBI.

The Paxo mapping algorithm and the predicted mappings for phenotype and disease ontologies are available on the public wiki for Ontology Mapping resources. Predicted mappings have been made successfully between public ontologies relevant to laboratory analytics for biology and chemistry to demonstrate the wide applicability of the algorithm.

Why is this important?

Ontologies can include hierarchical relationships; taxonomies; classifications and/or vocabularies which are becoming increasingly important for support of research and development. They have numerous applications such as knowledge management, data integration and text mining where researchers need to analyse large quantities of complex data as part of their daily work. Mappings between ontologies extend their scope for application in a scalable and efficient manner.

What will the project achieve?

The Ontologies Mapping Project helps users to select top performing tools, methodologies and services for mapping and visualisation of ontologies, to understand ontology structure, potential overlaps and equivalent or similar meaning. The project enables better integration and analysis of data through better usage of public ontologies and mappings between them.

How will the project do this?

The project has built a Community of Interest of considerable size and influence in the ontologies field. It has delivered a set of guidelines for use as a checklist to facilitate the selection of ontologies for application. The Ontologies Guidelines for Best Practice are available on the public wiki for Ontology Mapping resources.

We have evaluated ontology mapping tools and algorithms through and organised the phenotype track of the Ontology Alignment Evaluation Initiative (http://oaei.ontologymatching.org). Collaboration with EMBL-EBI has demonstrated a prototype ontology mapping service for public ontologies in the phenotype and disease domain, which has been extended successully to the lab analytics domain.