Full of beans: A study on the alignment of two flowering plants classification systems

Yi Yun Cheng, Bertram Ludäscher

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Advancements in technologies such as DNA analysis have given rise to new ways in organizing organisms in biodiversity classification systems. In this paper, we examine the feasibility of aligning two classification systems for flowering plants using a logic-based, Region Connection Calculus (RCC-5) approach. The older "Cronquist system" (1981) classifies plants using their morphological features, while the more recent Angiosperm Phylogeny Group IV (APG IV) (2016) system classifies based on many new methods including genome- level analysis. In our approach, we align pairwise concepts X and Y from two taxonomies using five basic set relations: Congruence (X=Y), inclusion (X>Y), inverse inclusion (X<Y), overlap (X><Y), and disjointness (X!Y). With some of the RCC-5 relationships among the Fabaceae family (beans family) and the Sapindaceae family (maple family) uncertain, we anticipate that the merging of the two classification systems will lead to numerous merged solutions, socalled possible worlds. Our research demonstrates how logic-based alignment with ambiguities can lead to multiple merged solutions, which would not have been feasible when aligning taxonomies, classifications, or other knowledge organization systems (KOS) manually. We believe that this work can introduce a novel approach for aligning KOS, where merged possible worlds can serve as a minimum viable product for engaging domain experts in the loop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - 2018
Event18th European Networked Knowledge Organization Systems Workshop, NKOS 2018 - Porto, Portugal
Duration: Sep 13 2018 → …


  • Interoperability
  • KOS alignment
  • Raxonomy alignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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