GFO-Bio: A biological core ontology

Robert Hoehndorf, Frank Loebe, Roberto Poli, Heinrich Herre, Janet Kelso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The rapid increase in the number and use of biological ontologies necessitates developing systems for their integration. In this paper we present a core ontology for biology, and outline its application for integrating biological domain ontologies. Our ontology rests on a foundational ontology, which offers higher-order categories and a theory of levels of reality. The core ontology is implemented in two separate components, each of which adheres to OWL-DL. These can be used independently with efficient DL reasoners, but they will be most effective when used together, which necessitates working with an OWL-Full ontology. The ontology is freely available from our website at:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Ontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomedical ontology
  • Categories
  • Core ontology
  • Default knowledge
  • General formal ontology
  • Levels of reality
  • Ontology integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'GFO-Bio: A biological core ontology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this