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TDWG 2013: A toolkit for reconciling multiple taxonomic perspectives

Presentation slides are now posted for the TDWG 2013 Euler/X Toolkit – Perelleschus talk.

Franz Et Al. A Toolkit for Reconciling Multiple Taxonomic Perspectives: Euler/X and the Perelleschus Use Case from taxonbytes


A Toolkit for Reconciling Multiple Taxonomic Perspectives: Euler/X and the Perelleschus Use Case

Nico Franz, Mingmin Chen, Shizhuo Yu, Shawn Bowers, Bertram Ludäscher

Date: 2013-11-01 09:52 AM – 10:03 AM

Abstract

We will demonstrate the features of Euler/X, a toolkit in development for logic-based multi-taxonomy integration. The Euler project (see http://euler.cs.ucdavis.edu/; software code available at https://bitbucket.org/eulerx/euler-project) utilizes the taxonomic concept approach to represent perceived taxonomic entities in two or more related yet distinct classifications. Euler/X will read in these taxonomies together with an initial set of expert-made concept relationship assessments, or articulations. The latter are based on Region Connection Calculus (RCC-5) relations; specifically congruence (=), proper inclusion (>), inverse proper inclusion (<), overlap (><), and exclusion (!). Experts can encode uncertainty in their assessments using disjunctions (e.g., “A = B or A > B”). Given the input and additional taxonomic covering constraints, Euler/X provides an interactive workflow for detecting, explaining, and repairing any inconsistencies in the expert alignment. Throughout, the workflow employs a suite of reasoning approaches including First-Order Logic (FOL) and Answer Set Programming (ASP). Once the inconsistencies are resolved, the toolkit infers a set of maximally informative relations (MIRs), and one or more “possible worlds”, representing different ways to merge the input taxonomies, are visualized. Upon viewing the possible worlds the expert user has follow-up opportunities to revisit articulations that are responsible for ambiguities in the merge, thereby reducing the number of possible world solutions. We demonstrate the Euler/X workflow and related considerations and challenges using the example of a Perelleschus concept history published by Franz & Cardona-Duque, 2013 [1]. This weevil genus was revised in 2001 and again in 2013, resulting in two distinct taxonomic and phylogenetic perspectives that can be aligned and merged with the toolkit. Euler/X implements innovative concepts and logic representation technologies that advance the task of tracking classification and phylogeny provenance in systematics, with implications for biodiversity data annotation and integration.

References

[1] Franz, N.M. & J. Cardona-Duque. 2013. Description of two new species and phylogenetic reassessment of Perelleschus Wibmer & O’Brien, 1986 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), with a complete taxonomic concept history of Perelleschus sec. Franz & Cardona-Duque, 2013. Systematics and Biodiversity 11: 209–236. Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14772000.2013.806371#.UieZOj_3OJY

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