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Interactive and Collective Development of Food and Plant Ontologies

e-FOOD (e-Foodlab)

The objective is to ensure that consensus-based concept formulation becomes an integral part of food science. In this workpacket we focus on supporting food experts in collectively creating and maintaining ontologies for specific application contexts. Such ontologies can for example be used for the annotation of large document repositories on food, facet browsing to efficiently retrieve available research data, and query expansion for efficiently finding relevant literature. Another application is prediction of food safety risks by linking heterogeneous data from the Internet with expert knowledge.

Presently general vocabularies exist in the food domain. However, they are mostly unsuitable for direct use in research applications. For most projects, a dedicated vocabulary for the multidisciplinary background of the research is required. Methods and tools need to be developed to evaluate the fitness-for-use of vocabularies within specific application contexts, and to adapt them accordingly. The information sources and experts involved in these applications should be consulted on a continuous and semi-automated way to feed these adaptations.

The Food Informatics (VirtualLab e-Science) project has initiated the ROC (Rapid Ontology Construction) method to construct such vocabularies. Several experiments are needed to develop this method to its full potential. ROC is to be extended by introducing consensus strategies, text mining techniques, ontology merging, ontology completion, and a development dashboard. This work focuses on the application of new developments in this area, in particular from P1 and P23 with the Commit consortium.

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