To MIREOT or not to MIREOT? A case study of the impact of using MIREOT in the Experimental Factor Ontology (EFO)

Luke T. Slater*, Georgios V. Gkoutos, Paul N. Schofield, Robert Hoehndorf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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MIREOT is a mechanism for the selective re-use of individual ontology classes in other ontologies. Designed to minimise effort and to support orthogonality, it is now in widespread use. The consequences for ontology integrity and automated reasoning of using the MIREOT mechanism have so far not been fully assessed. In this paper, we perform an analysis of the Experimental Factor Ontology (EFO), an ontology which uses the MIREOT process to gather classes from a large range of other ontologies. Our study examines the effect of combining EFO with the ontologies it references by actually importing them into the EFO. We then evaluate the consistency and status of the combined ontologies. Through our investigation, we reveal that EFO in combination with all its referenced ontologies is logically inconsistent. Furthermore, when EFO is individually combined with many of the ontologies it references, we find a large number of unsatisfiable classes. These results demonstrate a potential problem within a major ontological ecosystem, and reveals possible disadvantages to the use of the MIREOT system for developing ontologies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICBO-BioCreative 2016 Food, Nutrition, Health and Environment for the 9 Billion
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Joint International Conference on Biological Ontology and BioCreative
EditorsPankaj Jaiswal, Robert Hoehndorf, Cecilia Arighi, Austin Meier
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016
EventInternational Conference on Biological Ontology, 7th: ICBO2016 - Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, United States
Duration: 1 Aug 20164 Aug 2016


ConferenceInternational Conference on Biological Ontology, 7th
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCorvallis, OR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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