ICBO tutorial 2023: BFO as a top-level ontology for information systems modeling

Conference website: https://www.icbo2023.ncor-brasil.org/index.html

ICBO Workshops details: https://www.icbo2023.ncor-brasil.org/program.html#tutorials

Date: August 29, 2023:

  • Morning: 8:30 to 10:00h and 10:15h to 11:45 (part 1, local time)
  • Afternoon: 13:30 to 15:00 and (part 2) 15:30 to 17:45 (part2, local time)


Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) is a top-level ontology designed to support information retrieval, analysis and integration in scientific and other domains. BFO is used by more than 250 ontology-driven endeavors throughout the world.

BFO is not only a top-level ontology, rather a framework of resources that provides means to address corporations, including healthcare corporations. Such a framework encompasses middle-level ontologies for several purposes: time and place, information, measures, industry, finance, processes, properties and physical objects.

This tutorial consists of two parts:

The first part aims to introduce basic categories of the world, namely, those adopted within the BFO framework to develop domain ontologies. We will approach the four classification axes from which the primary categories are derived to reach this goal. We will finish the first part by presenting the levels of the BFO taxonomy and some theoretical exercises about classification.

The second part consists of a hands-on lesson about Protégé, one of the most essential editors in developing ontologies. After some basic notions of the Protégé’s UI, we will import BFO and use the editor to classify the entities studied in the first part of the tutorial. We will finish our tutorial with an additional example of corporation modeling.



The first part of the tutorial does not demand any preparation. The host university will provide a computer running Protégé in the second part. If you decide to participate using your notebook, install the Protégé 5.5 desktop. Participants have no special requirements, but a basic understanding of ontologies is desirable.


First part, Mauricio Almeida

  • 8:30 to 10:00 (local time) – the BFO’s axes of classification
  • 10:30 to 11:00 (local time) – the BFO’s taxonomy
  • 11:00 to 11:45 (local time) – classification exercises

Second part, Jeanne Louize and Fernanda Farinelli

  • 13:30 to 15:00 (local time) – essentials of Protégé’s UI
  • 15:30 to 17:00 (local time) – classification of entities in Protégé
  • 17:00 to 17:45 (local time) – classification exercises