BFO 2.0 Classifier

An entity classifier for ontologies written in OWL (Web Ontology Language), that allows users to add entities to the correct class in the BFO (Basic Formal Ontology) foundational ontology structure.

The BFO Classifier tool was developed by Chiadika Emeruem and Steve Wang, students in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, under the supervision of Prof. Maria Keet.

This tool is a result of a project to create a classifier for ontology entities according to BFO classes. It was developed based on the following decision diagram, which enables one to place entities from a domain ontology in the appropriate position in the BFO T-Box heirarchy. The decision process works by using the answers to a series of questions to navigate a path down the tree, until the corresponding BFO class is reached.

Decision diagram used by the BFO 2.0 Classifier.

How To Guide

Loading an OWL ontology document

Option 1:
Click on the browse button next to the "OWL File" display box.
Option 2:
On the menu bar, select File Load OWL file.
Option 3:
The keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+Shift+L".

Each of these opens a file picker that allows you to select which OWL ontology document you want to load.

Loading an OWL document: Visual aid
Loading an OWL document: Visual aid

Navigating the Decision Process

To begin, enter the name of the class into the text box labelled "Class label" and click on "Confirm". Once the class name has been confirmed the first question will appear in the text area directly above the dropdown component and the "Next Question" button as well as the dropdown will be enabled. Select the appropriate response to the question from the dropdown selection. If none of the available options apply, you may choose to use the axiom at the bottom of the screen or return to previous questions. After selecting a response from the dropdown selection, click on "Next Question" to continue the classification process. Note that you may click on "Previous Question" at any point during the process to undo the latest selection.

Navigating the Decision Process: Visual aid
Screenshot of BFO 2.0 Classifier v1.0.0 GUI

Importing an Axiom

Once you have found the BFO classification that best describes the chosen class, you may choose to import the subclass axiom into an OWL ontology document. To do so, click on "Import Axiom". If you have not yet loaded an OWL file, the option to create an untitled ontology BFO-merged document will be presented to you. If you decline that option, you may choose to load your local ontology document and click on "Import Axiom" again.

Restarting the Decision Process

To restart the classification process for the current OWL class, from the menu bar, select Edit Restart. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+R".

Restarting the Decision Process: Visual aid
Restarting the Decision Process: Visual aid

Choosing a Different Class

To change the OWL class, from the menu bar, select Edit Change Class or use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+Shift+R", and the decision process will be reset with the option to change the class name. Once you have changed the class name, click on "Confirm" to begin.

Restarting the Decision Process: Visual aid
Restarting the Decision Process: Visual aid