BFOBasic Formal Ontology


The Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) is a small, upper level ontology that is designed for use in supporting information retrieval, analysis and integration in scientific and other domains. BFO is a genuine upper ontology. Thus it does not contain physical, chemical, biological or other terms which would properly fall within the coverage domains of the special sciences. BFO is used by more than 250 ontology-driven endeavors throughout the world.

The BFO project was initiated in 2002 under the auspices of the project Forms of Life sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation. The theory behind BFO was developed first by Barry Smith and Pierre Grenon and presented in a series of publications listed here.

Since then important contributions to BFO have been made by many people, including:

...and by more than hundred other members of the BFO Discussion Group.


BFO YouTube Channel Introduced

BFO now has its own YouTube channel which will be regularly updated with new videos about the ontology and its uses.

BFO 2.0 Now Released

For more information and access to its source see here and for a video introduction to the BFO 2.0 release here.

BFO Guide to Ontology Building Published by MIT Press

Check out the newly released book Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology published by MIT Press.

BFO 2.0 in Portuguese Available

BFO-PT, a translation of BFO 2.0 to Portuguese has been developed. For more information and the download look here.