The research is divided in three stages: Foundational Research, Methodological Research, and Applications. The foundational research is devoted to formal ontology and applied logic, the methodological research includes the development of conceptual tools for building and representing of ontologies. The applications are aimed at the development of domain and core ontologies and of software systems.
The main concern of formal ontology is the development and the analysis foundational ontologies and their integration into a unified system. This research draws on philosophy, cognitive science and linguistics. Applied logic is aimed at the formalization of ontologically basic categories and relations and at meta-logical investigations of axiomatic theories.
Methodological research is directed at principles of conceptual modelling, meta-ontological principles, and ontology architectures. Further methodological topics pertain to the structure, definition and specification of categories and to ontology languages.
Applications include the development of domain and core ontologies in the areas of medicine, bio-medicine and life sciences, but also in other areas. Computer-based applications are aimed at the development of software in support of clinical trials, of building and managing of ontologies, and of health care. See our software section for more information about currently available computer-based applications.