A quality-assurance study of ChEBI

Hasan Yumak, Ling Chen, Michael Halper, Ling Zheng, Yehoshua Perl, Gai Elhanan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ontologies are important components of many health-information systems. The Chemical Entities of Biological Interest (ChEBI) ontology has become a standard reference for chemicals appearing in biological contexts. As such, assuring the quality of its content is imperative. In fact, ChEBI has a dedicated Web page at which errors and inconsistencies in its concepts can be reported. A study of the correctness of a random sample of ChEBI concepts is carried out. The results show that quite a large number of ChEBI concepts suffer from some kind of problematic modeling. For example, we found that 15.5% of the sample concepts exhibited severe errors of commission, including incorrect hierarchical (is a) and lateral relationships. Errors of omission were also prevalent. The overall results of our quality-assurance (QA) study are presented. Suggestions for enhancing the QA processes in place for ChEBI are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - 2016
Event2016 Joint International Conference on Biological Ontology and BioCreative - Food, Nutrition, Health and Environment for the 9 Billion, ICBO-BioCreative 2016 - Corvallis, United States
Duration: Aug 1 2016Aug 4 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science


  • ChEBI
  • Chemical concept
  • Chemical ontology
  • Error distribution
  • Modeling error
  • Quality assurance


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