Basic Formal Ontology 2.0: Tutorial at ICBO/FOIS

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Venue: Medical University of Graz, Austria

Date: July 25, 2012, 13:00 to 18.20


Basic Formal Ontology 2.0 will be released in draft form for public comment in advance of the tutorial. Given the large number of users of the existing BFO 1.1, and given the substantial interest in this new release, there is a need for an event at which the release can be described in its definitive form by means of a tutorial, which will consist of the following parts:


13:30 Basic Formal Ontology: The basic ideas
Instances and universals
Dependent entities and independent entities
Continuants and occurrents
14:15 New features of BFO 2.0
Treatment of Relations
Generically and specifically dependent continuants, concretizations, and relations of dependence
Representation of boundaries
Three subtypes of material entity: objects, object aggregates, and fiat object parts
Object aggregates and the member_of relation, with an application to groups and organizations
Quality instances and how quality instances change over time
Lives and other histories
Process profiles, rates, and process measurement data
16:00 Break
16:30 Formalization of BFO 2.0
Relations between the BFO specification, BFO FOL and BFO OWL
How to migrate from BFO 1.0 to BFO 2.0
The BFO 2.0 OWL temporalization strategy


17:45 Discussion session
18:20 Close


BFO is currently being used by over 100 ontology-based research projects in biomedical informatics and increasingly in other fields. The new version fills a number of critical gaps in BFO 1.0 and provides enhanced support for logical reasoning. The tutorial will serve both to introduce new users to BFO and also to inform existing users of the changes made in version 2.0.

Audience and format

The tutorial will be targeted to a general audience; it will serve to introduce BFO to new users, but also provide technical details of the current version of BFO that will be presented in a form that will be of interest to advanced users. Attendees will acquire basic knowledge of BFO and of its use as top-level ontology in multiple ontology development projects in a variety of fields. They will learn about the most recent developments in the ontology and acquire basic knowledge of the new formalizations of BFO in first-order logic and in OWL.


Barry Smith, National Center for Ontological Research, University at Buffalo, 126 Park Hall, Buffalo, NY, USA

Alan Ruttenberg, Clinical and Translational Data Exchange, University at Buffalo, NY, USA

Further information

See ICBO/FOIS website, where registration details will be provided.