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Bio::Ontology::OntologyStore - A repository of ontologies



  #make an ontology object manually. via OntologyIO
  my $io = Bio::OntologyIO->new(
                                #params to fetch Cell Ontology here
  my $cell_ontology = $io->next_ontology;

  #this is a singleton that caches the fact that you've created
  #a 'Cell Ontology' instance...
  my $store = Bio::Ontology::OntologyStore->get_instance();

  #...and it can hand you back a copy of it at any time.
  my $cell_ontology_copy = $store->get_ontology('Cell Ontology');


  my $store = Bio::Ontology::OntologyStore->get_instance();
  #this use case allows the construction of an ontology on
  #demand just by supplying the name.
  my $ontology = $store->get_ontology('Sequence Ontology');


The primary purpose of this module is that of a singleton repository of Bio::Ontology::OntologyI instances from which an Ontology instance can be retrieved by name or identifier. This enables TermI implementations to return their corresponding OntologyI through using this singleton store instead of storing a direct reference to the Ontology object. The latter would almost inevitably lead to memory cycles, and would therefore potentially blow up an application.


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Please direct usage questions or support issues to the mailing list:

rather than to the module maintainer directly. Many experienced and reponsive experts will be able look at the problem and quickly address it. Please include a thorough description of the problem with code and data examples if at all possible.

Reporting Bugs

Report bugs to the Bioperl bug tracking system to help us keep track of the bugs and their resolution. Bug reports can be submitted via the web:

AUTHOR - Hilmar Lapp

  Hilmar Lapp E<lt>hlapp@gmx.netE<gt>
  Allen Day E<lt>allenday@ucla.eduE<gt>


The rest of the documentation details each of the object methods. Internal methods are usually preceded with a _


 Title   : new
 Usage   : my $obj = Bio::Ontology::OntologyStore->new();
 Function: Returns the Bio::Ontology::OntologyStore object.

           Unlike usual implementations of new, this implementation
           will try to return a previously instantiated store, if
           there is any. It is just a synonym for get_instance. In
           order to avoid ambiguities in your code, you may rather
           want to call rather get_instance explicitly, which also
           usually is better associated with this kind of behaviour.

 Returns : an instance of Bio::Ontology::OntologyStore
 Args    :


 Title   : get_instance
 Usage   :
 Function: Get an instance of this class for perusal.

           Since by design this class is meant to be used as a
           singleton, the implementation will return a previously
           instantianted store if there is one, and instantiate a new
           one otherwise. In order to use this class by means of an
           instance, call this method for added code clarity, not

 Example :
 Returns : an instance of this class
 Args    : named parameters, if any (currently, there are no 
           class-specific parameters other than those accepted by

See Bio::Root::Root.


 Title   : get_ontology
 Usage   :
 Function: Get a previously instantiated and registered instance of
           this class by name or by identifier. 

           One of the main purposes of this class is to enable TermI
           implementations to return their respective ontology without
           keeping a strong reference to the respective ontology
           object. Only objects previously registered objects can be

           This is a class method, hence you can call it on the class
           name, without dereferencing an object.

 Example :
 Returns : a Bio::Ontology::OntologyI implementing object, or undef
           if the query could not be satisfied
 Args    : Named parameters specifying the query. The following parameters
           are recognized:
              -name   query the store for an ontology with the given name
              -id     query for an ontology with the given identifier
           If both are specified, an implicit AND logical operator is

See Bio::Ontology::OntologyI.


 Title   : register_ontology
 Usage   :
 Function: Registers the given Ontology object for later retrieval
           by name and identifier.

 Example :
 Returns : TRUE on success and FALSE otherwise
 Args    : the Bio::Ontology::OntologyI object(s) to register

See Bio::Ontology::OntologyI.


 Title   : remove_ontology
 Usage   :
 Function: Remove the specified ontology from the store.
 Example :
 Returns : TRUE on success and FALSE otherwise
 Args    : the Bio::Ontology::OntologyI implementing object(s)
           to be removed from the store

See Bio::Ontology::OntologyI.


 Usage   : my $ontology = 
 Function: tries to guess which ontology a term identifier comes from, 
           loads it as necessary,
           and returns it as a Bio::Ontology::Ontology object.
 Example :
 Returns : a Bio::Ontology::Ontology object, or warns and returns undef
 Args    : an ontology term identifier in XXXX:DDDDDDD format.  
           Guessing is based on the XXXX string before the colon.