What is ACE?

The Aristotelian Class Editor

ACE is a tool that enables you, as a domain expert, to design logically consistent taxonomies. Each term is described in terms of a set of properties.

The list of terms with their properties is fed into ACE, which generates the taxonomic structure. For example, in the medical field, you could create a 'Symptoms' taxonomy with the properties: Body Part, Tissue Mass, Fluid Emergent, etc.

Here's how it works..

  1. The first step is clearly defining the scope of the taxonomy and what it will be used for.
  2. Make a list of the concepts that will be the nodes in the taxonomy.
  3. Write clear and unambiguous definitions of these concepts; if existing definitions can be reused, good, but be sure and provide clear citation for the provenance of the definition.
  4. Analyze your definitions to make a list of the properties that are used to differentiate concepts that have the same parent concept.
  5. For each property, make a list of the values assigned in your concept definitions, and write definitions for these values. Each property should have an associated vocabulary of values that will be referred to as a value hierarchy. Some properties might have simple list of values with no hierarchical structure, other might have a complex hierarchy;
  6. For value hierarchies that have internal hierarchical relationships, provide explicit IsA or kindOf links from child to parent concepts.

The product is 1) a collection of concepts for the main taxonomy each of which has a text definition and a set of properties, 2) a set of value hierarchies some of which are simple lists of terms, but might also include values that are themselves hierarchical taxonomies, 3) assignment of property values to concept properties that distinguish instances of different concepts.


See: Why ACE.