Function, role and disposition in Basic Formal Ontology

Proceedings of Bio-Ontologies Workshop, Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB), Toronto (2008)
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Abstract
Numerous research groups are now utilizing Basic Formal Ontology as an upper-level framework to assist in the organization and integration of biomedical information. This paper provides elucidation of the three existing BFO subcategories of realizable entity, namely function, role, and disposition. It proposes one further sub-category of tendency, and considers the merits of recognizing two sub-categories of function for domain ontologies, namely, artifactual and biological function. The motivation is to help advance the coherent ontological treatment of functions, roles, and dispositions, to help provide the potential for more detailed classification, and to shed light on BFO’s general make-up and use.
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