Basic Formal Ontology 2.0

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For BFO 2020 (= ISO standard) see here

Release information on BFO github site


Part One

Part Two


BFO Website

For introductory reading see: Pierre Grenon and Barry Smith: "SNAP and SPAN: Towards Dynamic Spatial Ontology", Spatial Cognition and Computation, 4 (2004), 69-103.

For introductory reading on relations see: Barry Smith, Werner Ceusters, et al., “Relations in Biomedical Ontologies”, Genome Biology (2005), 6 (5), R46.

For (optional) philosophical discussion of core BFO issues see: Barry Smith and Werner Ceusters, “Ontological Realism as a Methodology for Coordinated Evolution of Scientific Ontologies”, Applied Ontology, 5 (2010), 139–188.

This paper contains some material pertaining to process profiles: “Classifying Processes: An Essay in Applied Ontology”, Ratio, 25:4 (2012), 463-488.

And the paper here contains material on the proposed BFO 2.0 classification of objects: “On Classifying Material Entities in Basic Formal Ontology”, in Interdisciplinary Ontology. Proceedings of the Third Interdisciplinary Ontology Meeting, Tokyo: Keio University Press, 2012, 1-13.

The current draft version of the BFO 2.0 Specification is available here.

For further information please write to Barry Smith or see here.


Basic Formal Ontology is currently being used by over 450 ontology-based research projects in biomedical informatics and increasingly in other fields. The course will provide an introduction to the content and use of BFO in ontology development. Attendees will acquire knowledge of the ontology 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 draft version 2.0.

The current version of the draft Specification and User Guide for BFO 2.0 is available here.

The current version of the draft BFO 2.0 OWL file is available here. Please read the release notes

These links, and also further information concerning the draft BFO 2.0 release can be found at the BFO page here:

BFO Workshop 2012