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Building Ontologies With Basic Formal Ontology$
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Robert Arp, Barry Smith, and Andrew D. Spear

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262527811

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262527811.001.0001

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The Ontology of Relations

The Ontology of Relations

(p.131) 7 The Ontology of Relations
Building Ontologies With Basic Formal Ontology

Robert Arp

Barry Smith

Andrew D. Spear

The MIT Press

The is_a (or subtype) relation is the central structuring relation of an ontology. Ontologies also use other relations to link their categories together, for example the location and parthood relations, relations of participation and temporal precedence, and so forth. This chapter introduces ontological relations in general and the BFO treatment of relations in particular. Conventions for representing relations are introduced and specific ontological relations are defined and explained, including is_a, continuant_part_of, and occurrent_part_of. We explain the all-some rule for relations and outline the role of relations in defining ontological categories is highlighted. We also address specific properties of relations such as reflexivity, symmetry, and transitivity.

Keywords:   BFO, relations, is_a, continuant_part_of, occurrent_part_of, all-some structure, reflexivity, symmetry, transitivity

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