Formalizing Botanical Taxonomies [chapter]

Uta Priss
2003 Lecture Notes in Computer Science  
Because botanical taxonomies are prototypical classifications it would seem that it should be easy to formalize them as concept lattices or type hierarchies. On closer inspection, however, one discovers that such a formalization is quite challenging to obtain. First, botanical taxonomies consist of several interrelated hierarchies, such as a specimen-based plant typology, a name hierarchy and a ranking system. Depending on the circumstances each of these can be primary or secondary for the
more » ... tion of the taxonomy. Second, botanical taxonomies must comply with botanical nomenclature which follows a complicated rule system and is historically grown. Third, it may be difficult to design a formalization that is both mathematically appropriate and has a semantics which matches a taxonomist's intuition. The process of formalizing botanical taxonomies with formal concept analysis methods highlights such problems and can serve as a foundation for solutions. This is a preprint of a paper published in De Moor; Lex; Ganter (eds.), Conceptual Structures for Knowledge Creation and Communication.
doi:10.1007/978-3-540-45091-7_22 fatcat:jmgpfixtbnfhlgey6td54wm5i4