Research Output

The Prometheus Taxonomic Model: a practical approach to representing multiple classification.

  A model for representing taxonomic data in a flexible and dynamic system capable of handling and comparing multiple simultaneous classifications is presented. The Prometheus Taxonomic Model takes as its basis the idea that a taxon can be circumscribed by the specimens or taxa of a lower rank which are said to belong to it. In this model alternative taxon concepts are therefore represented in terms of differing circumscriptions. This provides a more objective way of expressing taxonomic concepts than purely descriptive circumscriptions have been published. Using specimens as the fundamental elements of taxon circumscription also allows for the automatic naming of taxa based upon the distribution and priority of types within each circumscription, and by application of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. This approach effectively separates the process of naming taxa (nomenclature) from that of classification, and therefore enables the system to store multiple classifications. The derivation of the model, how it compares with other models, and the implications for the construction of global data sets and taxonomic working practice are discussed.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    30 November 1999

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    International Association for Plant Taxonomy

  • ISSN:

    0040-0262

Citation

Pullan, M. R., Watson, M. F., Kennedy, J., Raguenaud, C. & Hyam, R. (1999). The Prometheus Taxonomic Model: a practical approach to representing multiple classification. Taxon. 49, 55-75. ISSN 0040-0262

Authors

Keywords

Prometheus model dataset; Object oriented database; Taxonomy; Taxon circumscription; Specimen focus; Applications; Supports global datasets; Supports multiple classifications;

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