Information Artifact Ontology

Last uploaded: February 26, 2021
Preferred Name



BFO CLIF specification label


BFO OWL specification label


editor note

BFO 2 Reference: In the past, we have distinguished two varieties of function, artifactual function and biological function. These are not asserted subtypes of BFO:function however, since the same function – for example: to pump, to transport – can exist both in artifacts and in biological entities. The asserted subtypes of function that would be needed in order to yield a separate monoheirarchy are not artifactual function, biological function, etc., but rather transporting function, pumping function, etc.


A function is a disposition that exists in virtue of the bearer’s physical make-up and this physical make-up is something the bearer possesses because it came into being, either through evolution (in the case of natural biological entities) or through intentional design (in the case of artifacts), in order to realize processes of a certain sort. (axiom label in BFO2 Reference: [064-001])

example of usage

the function of amylase in saliva to break down starch into sugar

the function of a heart pacemaker to regulate the beating of a heart through electricity

the function of a hammer to drive in nails

has associated axiom(fol)

(forall (x) (if (Function x) (Disposition x))) // axiom label in BFO2 CLIF: [064-001]









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Delete Mapping To Ontology Source Basic Formal Ontology (Chinese Translation) LOOM Basic Formal Ontology (Chinese Translation) SAME_URI Relations Ontology LOOM Relations Ontology SAME_URI Ontology of Genes and Genomes LOOM Ontology of Genes and Genomes SAME_URI Basic Formal Ontology LOOM Basic Formal Ontology SAME_URI Ontology for General Medical Science LOOM Ontology for General Medical Science SAME_URI GenEpiO LOOM GenEpiO SAME_URI International Classification of Diseases Ontology LOOM International Classification of Diseases Ontology SAME_URI Ontology for Biomedical Investigations LOOM Ontology for Biomedical Investigations SAME_URI Environment Ontology LOOM Environment Ontology SAME_URI Coronavirus Infectious Disease Ontology LOOM Coronavirus Infectious Disease Ontology SAME_URI Informed Consent Ontology LOOM Informed Consent Ontology SAME_URI Infectious Disease Ontology LOOM Infectious Disease Ontology SAME_URI Traditional Chinese Drug Ontology LOOM Traditional Chinese Drug Ontology SAME_URI Molecular Interactions Controlled Vocabulary LOOM Logical Observation Identifier Names and Codes LOOM National Cancer Institute Thesaurus LOOM Logical Observation Identifier Names and Codes LOOM MicroRNA Ontology LOOM Semanticscience Integrated Ontology LOOM Logical Observation Identifier Names and Codes LOOM