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TAMBIS aims to provide transparent information retrieval and filtering from biological information services by building a homogenising layer on top of the different sources. This layer uses a mediator and many source wrappers to create the illusion of one all encompassing data source.
The mediator is a kind of information broker. It uses a conceptual knowledge base of molecular biology, expressed in the Description Logic GRAIL, to The wrappers create the illusion of a common query language for each information resource. The current wrapper language is CPL.

The mediator takes conceptual and source-independent GRAIL queries and rewrites them to concrete and source-dependent CPL queries, which are despatched to the sources.

On the way to building TAMBIS we have developed a number of other generally useful things including:

Biological Terminology Concept  Server

The BioCon Knowledge Base is an ontology of biological concepts.

The Terminology Server provides a number of services for terminological or concept models such as what can I say about concept X? or is concept Y coherent? or what are the immediate parents and/or children of concept Z?

Together they form a Biological Terminology Concept Server  used by TAMBIS.
The BioCon Knowledge Base is used to:

System architecture

The architecture of the TAMBIS system is shown in the figure below.
Architecture Diagram

The main components are:

A. An ontology of biological terms in GRAIL

B. A knowledge-driven query formulation interface

C. A services model linking the biological ontology with the source schemas

D. A query transformation rewriting process

E. A wrapper service dealing with external sources


The User Interface

Queries are constructed using a graphical query interface which allows users to piece together queries and insulates them from the syntax of the underlying description logic model.

Applets Demonstration

Two applets demonstrating the TAMBIS system are accessible. The two applets has the same interface but with different capability.


There are three videos demonstrating how queries can be built and processed using the applets.

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