Attribute Entity Ontology (AEO)

Physical properties

The AEO provides provides descriptors of attributes.


The AEO provides quantitative and qualitative physical descriptors of the attributes of classes of anatomical and pathological entities in the OCDM, such as size, shape, distance and mass. The AEO is based on the Phenotypic Quality Ontology (PATO), which is designed to represent “phenotypic qualities” of “quality-bearing entities” (1). An example of such an entity is the “face” which could be the bearer of the quality “broad”. The combination therefore describes the “broad face” phenotype. This approach allows us to extend the phenotypic descriptions to a level of detail that is necessary to sort out sub-phenotypes and to accommodate quantitative measurements, which use facial landmarks to measure, for example, the width of the face. “Width of face” will be a class in the AEO with reference to the class “Face” in the CHO. The measurement for a specific patient would be associated with an instance of the class “Width of face”. Thus, the AEO provides an ideal framework within which we incorporate the standards used to describe human morphology that were created and published by the Elements of Morphology Working Group (2).


The AEO is in the early stages of development. We are currently populating this ontology with the attributes for the anatomical entities related to the face, with emphasis on the lips and palate.


  1. Mungall, C.J., Gkoutos, G.V., Smith, C.L., Haendel, M.A., Lewis, S.E., Ashburner, M., 2010. Integrating phenotype ontologies across multiple species. Genome Biology 11, R2.
  2. Elements of Morphology,