Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘alignment’

SPNHC 2015 presentation – Taxonomic concept resolution for voucher-based biodiversity information platforms

Slides are up for our SPNHC 2015 concept taxonomy presentation.

Franz 2015 SPNHC Taxonomic concept resolution for voucher-based biodiversity information platforms from taxonbytes

ETC-Euler Taxonomic Concept Alignment Demonstration Video – Minyomerus 2015 versus Minyomerus 1982

This 8-minute screenshot video, produced in late April, 2015, demonstrates the interaction of the Exploring Taxonomic Concepts (ETC) and Euler/X software tools.

The ETC team has built a highly useful and effective front-end web service to the Euler/X reasoning services, allowing users to import two concept taxonomies through an on-line file management system, provide articulations, run input visualizations, obtain logically consistent alignments, and extract these products from the web interface to the desktop. The underlying ideas and methods are explained in Franz et al. (2015).

The capabilities of the user interface are illustrated with the Minyomerus use case, aligning two classifications authored in 2015 and 1982, respectively.

ETC Euler Taxonomic Concept Alignment Demonstration – Minyomerus 2015 versus 1982 from taxonbytes on Vimeo.

New publication: Provenance for explaining taxonomy alignments

A short paper related to the Euler/X toolkit and concept taxonomy alignment project has been published. It deals with the issue of diagnosing inconsistent input constraints in an attempted pairwise taxonomy alignment, analyzing and visualizing their logical provenance so that the user can localize the inconsistencies and proceed towards repairing them. These logic services are already implemented in the toolkit.

Abstract. Derivations and proofs are a form of provenance in automated deduction that can assist users in understanding how reasoners derive logical consequences from premises. However, system-generated proofs are often overly complex or detailed, and making sense of them is non-trivial. Conversely, without any form of provenance, it is just as hard to know why a certain fact was derived. We study provenance in the application of Euler/X, a logic-based toolkit for aligning multiple biological taxonomies. We propose a combination of approaches to explain both, logical inconsistencies in the input alignment, and the derivation of new facts in the output taxonomies.

Chen, M., S. Yu, P. Kianmajd, N. Franz, S. Bowers & B. Ludäscher. 2015. Provenance for explaining taxonomy alignments. In: Ludäscher, B. & B. Plale (Editors), Provenance and Annotation of Data and Processes. Revised Selected Papers of the 5th International Provenance and Annotation Workshop, IPAW 2014, Cologne, Germany, June 9-13, 2014. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8628: 258-260. Available on-line here.

New publication: Reasoning over taxonomic change – Perelleschus

The first, fleshed out use case of the Euler/X project was published yesterday in PLoS ONE. This paper is a companion to the phylogenetic revision of the acalyptine weevil genus Perelleschus sec. Franz & Cardona-Duque (2013), and translates the 54 taxonomic concepts and 75 RCC-5 articulations provided in that paper into 13 logically consistent alignments and visualizations, with additional inferred articulations.

Franz, N.M., M. Chen, S. Yu, P. Kianmajd, S. Bowers & B. Ludäscher. 2015. Reasoning over taxonomic change: exploring alignments for the Perelleschus use case. PLoS ONE 10(2): e0118247. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118247. Available on-line here.

Very glad to see this one published; at the same time there are other use case papers in the pipeline (Andropogon, Primates). The particular motivation for this paper was to resolve sets of several small-scale yet taxonomically and phylogenetically complex input trees with the RCC-5 concept alignment approach and Euler/X toolkit. The paper is written in a “how to?” style, successively exploring and explaining the connections between the user-provided input constraints and the over-, under-, or well-specified reasoning outcomes. It deals with issues of logical consistency, input sufficiency, ambiguity, and alternative ways to align (parent) concepts in reference to either (1) their intensionally circumscribed properties (which may include synapomorphies) or (2) the ostensively indicated members. This corresponds to the program outlined in Franz & Thau (2010).

One reviewer wrote: “With an exceptionally suited use case, the complexity of taxonomic reasoning and its translation to machine processing are depicted in unprecedented form.” Our ultimate goal is to develop a widely applicable reference and linkage system for taxonomic products that human users create but which is actually optimized for computational processing – without compromising the Linnaean system whose services to humans are profoundly valuable.

Weekly reading: Lemmon & Lemmon on high-throughput genomic data for phylogenetics

Time to direct our Weekly Discussion series towards Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) – theory and methods. First up is:

Lemmon, E.M. & A.R. Lemmon. 2013. High-throughput genomic data in systematics and phylogenetics. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 44: 99–121. Available on-line here.

Overview of Euler/X toolkit commands

An overview of Euler/X toolkit commands, with examples of how and when to use. This post expands on the Euler/X introduction and demonstration video which show a linear pathway to producing a logically consistent multi-taxonomy alignment. Post in development.

Read more

Euler/X toolkit demonstration video – July 2014

I screen-recorded a 7:35 minute video demonstrating the current (July 2014), basic functionality of the Euler/X toolkit for aligning multiple taxonomies (see: Concept Taxonomy). The video is up on Vimeo.

Euler/X toolkit demonstration – July 2014 from taxonbytes on Vimeo.

Abstract. The Euler/X toolkit ( takes in two input taxonomies, a set of concept-to-concept articulations, and additional logic constraints to assess their logical consistency, infer the set of maximally informative relationships among the input concepts, and visualize a merge taxonomy. The basic functionality of the toolkit is shown based on a use case of aligning two alternative concept phylogenies of the weevil genus Perelleschus sec. 2001/2013. More information is available at

Weekly reading: Using dynamic homology without parsimony

Dynamic homologypart 1, part2, and now, for behavioral data (not exclusively, one presumes):

Japyassú, H.F. & F.d.A. Machado. 2010. Coding behavioural data for cladistic analysis: using dynamic homology without parsimony. Cladistics 26: 625-642. Available here.

More on this soon, well, hopefully. At least we are caught up now with our weekly reading posts.