The Manchester Computational Flora Project

This is a resource page for The Computational Flora Project in the School of Computer Science, The University of Manchester, UK.

It contains published and draft papers and experimental data gathered from botanical sources.

The Semantics of Botanical Text

A series of papers and notes on the semantic analysis of botanical texts:

blue flowers
The meaning of `blue': A hue-saturation plot of several blue flowers.

The MultiFlora Project

Intelligent processing of natural language text information is essential if the vast legacy of taxonomic data is to be made accessible. MultiFlora aims to provide proof of concept that Information Extraction (IE) can be improved by the analysis of multiple parallel texts, and that, applied to botanical taxon descriptions, it has the potential to be a useful tool in biodiversity informatics. See the Project Website for further details.


Members of the group include:

Part of the research is in association with members of the Natural History Museum, London:
  • Robert Huxley
  • David Sutton


  1. Lydon SJ, Wood MM, Huxley R, Sutton D. 2003. Data patterns in multiple botanical descriptions: implications for automatic processing of legacy data. Systematics and Biodiversity 1: 151 - 157. BibTex
  2. Wood, M. M., Lydon, S. J., Tablan, V., Maynard, D., and Cunningham, H. (2003). Using parallel texts to improve recall in IE. In Proceedings of Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (RANLP-2003), pages 505-­512, Borovetz, Bulgaria. BibTex
  3. Wood, M. and Wang, S. (2004). Motivation for "ontology" in parallel-text information extraction. In Proceedings of ECAI-2004 Workshop on Ontology Learning and Population (ECAI-OLP), Poster, Valencia, Spain. BibTex
  4. Wood, M., Lydon, S., Tablan, V., Maynard, D., and Cunningham, H. (2004). Populating a database from parallel texts using ontology-based information extraction. In Meziane, F. and M´tais, E., editors, Proceedings of Natural Language Processing and Information Systems, 9th International Conference on Applications of Natural Languages to Information Systems, pages 254-­264. Springer. BibTex
  5. Shenghui Wang and Jeff Z. Pan. Ontology-based Representation and Query of Colour Descriptions from Botanical Documents. OTM Conferences (2) 2005: 1279-1295. Electronic Edition (link) BibTeX
  6. Shenghui Wang and Jeff Z. Pan. Integrating and Querying Parallel Leaf Shape Descriptions. In Proc. of the 5th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2006). To appear.


Here are some useful links:

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