Top down becoming bottom up

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I continue to be impressed by the amount of effort that is going into different ontology development projects. Unfortunately, even “top down” approaches are really becoming a bottom up industry:

  • UMLS
  • NCI Thesaurus
  • GO
  • BIRNlex
  • ...

One approach to this are projects like UBO and SUMO, but top down solutions will inevitably be incomplete and lag behind real usage and we will continue to see ontologies sprouting up. Would be worth talking about automated mapping strategies during the AHM.


From: Suzanna Lewis

There is also the Upper Biomedical Ontology, a project of the NCBO, and it does address the issues of top-down organization. SUMO has some problems as noted in this response that Mark, Barry, and I wrote to in a response to an opinion piece last year (Nat Biotechnol. 2006 Jan;24(1):21).