Basic Formal Ontology (BFO)
The Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) is a small, upper-level ontology that is designed for use in supporting information retrieval, analysis and integration in scientific and other domains. BFO is a genuine upper ontology. Thus it does not contain physical, chemical, biological or other terms which would properly fall within the coverage domains of the special sciences. BFO is used by more than 130 ontology-driven endeavors throughout the world.
The BFO project was initiated in 2002 under the auspices of the project Forms of Life sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation. The theory behind BFO was developed first by Barry Smith and Pierre Grenon and presented in a series of publications listed here.
Since then important contributions to BFO have been made by many people, including:
- Mathias Brochhausen
- Werner Ceusters
- Melanie Courtot
- Randall Dipert
- Janna Hastings
- Chris Mungall
- Darren Natale
- Fabian Neuhaus
- James A. Overton
- Bjoern Peters
- Ron Rudnicki
- Alan Ruttenberg
- Stefan Schulz
- Selja Seppälä
- Holger Stenzhorn
- Jie Zheng
... and by more than hundred other members of the BFO Discussion Group.
News: BFO 2.0 Now Released
- Following extensive discussions in the BFO community the decision has been made to release this version as BFO 2.0 OWL. This includes all of the classes defined in the Specification and User's Guide, but only those of the relations for which we have remains authoritative, and is being implemented in the first-order logic version of BFO (BFO 2.0 CLIF). Our plans to incorporate core relations into BFO 2.0 OWL have been postponed to version 2.1, an experimental version of which is available here.
- The tool that supprts automated conversion from BFO 1.1 to BFO 2.0 are available at: http://bfoconvert.hegroup.org/
- Event: Introduction to Basic Formal Ontology 2.0 at ICBO, Lisbon, July 28, 2015
- Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology published by MIT Press, August 2015
Current Version: 2.0
- BFO 2.0 Specification and User's Guide (doc) (pdf)
- BFO 2.0 OWL created by James A. Overton, Alan Ruttenberg, Jie Zheng and others
- BFO 2.0 OBO created by Jie Zheng
- BFO 2.0 CLIF (draft) first-order logic version of BFO created by Fabian Neuhaus and others
Previous Version: 1.1.1
- OWL-DL - created by Holger Stenzhorn with large contributions from Andrew Spear and others (HTML view)
- Isabelle (FOL) - created by Thomas Bittner
- OBO - created by Chris Mungall
- Pierre Grenon and Barry Smith: "SNAP and SPAN: Towards Dynamic Spatial Ontology"
- Pierre Grenon, Barry Smith and Louis Goldberg: "Biodynamic Ontology: Applying BFO in the Biomedical Domain"
- Barry Smith, Werner Ceusters, et al. "Relations in Biomedical Ontologies"
- Barry Smith, "Classifying Processes: An Essay in Applied Ontology"
- Barry Smith, "On Classifying Material Entities in Basic Formal Ontology"
- Selja Seppälä, Barry Smith and Werner Ceusters, "Applying the Realism-Based Ontology-Versioning Method for Tracking Changes in the Basic Formal Ontology"
- Robert Arp, Barry Smith and Andrew Spear, Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology
Code license: New BSD License
Content license: Creative Commons 4.0 BY