Synthetic Biology:Semantic web ontology/Examples/Cyc

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Cyc Knowledge Base is a formalized representation of a vast quantity of fundamental human knowledge: facts, rules of thumb, and heuristics for reasoning about the objects and events of everyday life.

  • Cyc Wikipedia article
  • CycL is the formal language used for knowledge representation
  • OpenCyc is the open source version of the Cyc technology
  • ResearchCyc has the complete (non-proprietary) content of the Cyc knowledge base

Cyc contains 10s of thousands of predicates, 100s of thousands of concepts and millions of assertions (as of 2006).

Knowledge hiereachy: Upper ontology -> Core theories -> Domain-specific theories -> very specific information

Inference engine consist of 1000 agents that attack every problem & sub-problem

Cyc does not provide definitive proofs: only arguments for and against


  • UI - query by people
  • Knowledge entry tools - input
  • API - query by applications
  • External datasources (web pages, other KBs, etc) - machine input

Reasoning: deduction, abduction (inference in reverse) and induction

Public versions:

  • OpenCyc - vocabulary of 100,000s terms
  • ResearchCyc - everything