S4: Building, Using, and Maintaining Ontology-enabled Resources

Building, Using, and Maintaining Ontology-enabled Resources in Exposure Science and Health Informatics Settings

Building, Using, and Maintaining Ontology-enabled Resources, OpenTox USA 2018

Deborah McGuinness


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute




Ontologies are seeing a resurgence of interest and usage as big data proliferates, machine learning advances, and integration of data becomes more paramount. The previous models of sometimes labor-intensive, centralized ontology construction and maintenance do not mesh well in today’s interdisciplinary world that is in the midst of a big data, information extraction, and machine learning explosion.  In this talk, we will discuss a model of building and maintaining large collaborative, interdisciplinary ontologies along with the data repositories and data services that they empower. We will also introduce the National Institutes of Environmental Health Science’s Child Health Exposure Analysis Resource and describe how we used our methodology to assemble the broad interdisciplinary ontology that covers exposure science and health and integrates with numerous long standing, well used ontologies.  We will also describe how this ontology powers an integrated data resource and provide some examples of how it can be used and re-used for interdisciplinary work. If time permits, we will also describe how the methodology and the integrated ontology has been and is being used in other interdisciplinary health and wellness settings.