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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Retrieved from: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy"
For the science of classifying living things, see alpha taxonomy.
Look up tax o no my inWiktionary, the free dictionary.
Taxonomy is the practice and science ofclassificat io n. The word comes from

the G re e k\u03c4\u03ac\u03be\u03b9\u03c2,taxis, 'order' +\u03bd\u03cc\u03bc\u03bf\u03c2,n omos, 'law' or 'science'. Taxonomies, or taxonomic schemes, are composed of taxonomic units known astaxa (singulartaxon), or kinds of things that are arranged frequently in a

hierarchical structure, typically related by subtype-supertype relationships,
also called parent-child relationships. In such asubtype-supertype
relationship the subtype kind of thing has by definition the s ame
constraints as the supertype kind of thing, plus one or more additional
For example, car is a subtype of vehicle. So any car is also a vehicle, but
not every vehicle is a car. Therefore, a thing needs to satisfy more
constraints to be a car than to be a vehicle.

Originally the term taxonomy referred to the classifying of living organisms like cats(now known as alpha taxonomy); however, the term is now applied in a wider, more general sense and now may refer to aclassifi cation of things, as well as to the p rinciples underlying such a classification.

Almost anything \u2014 animate objects, inanimate objects, places, concepts, events, properties, and relationships \u2014 may be classified according to some taxonomic scheme.

The term taxonomy may also apply to relationship schemes other than parent- child hierarchies, such as network structures with other types of relationships. taxonomies may include single children with multi-parents, for example, "Car" might appear with both parents "Vehicle" and "Steel Mechanisms"; to some however, this merely means that 'car' is a part of several different taxonomies.

A taxonomy might also be a simple organization of kinds of things into groups, or even an alphabetical list. However, the term vocabulary is more appropriate for such a list. In current usage within "Knowledge Management", taxonomies are seen as less broad thanontologies as ontologies apply a larger variety of relation types.

Mathematically, a hierarchical taxonomy is a tree structure of classifications
for a given set of objects. It is also namedContainment hierarchy. At the top of

this structure is a single classification, the root node, that applies to all objects. Nodes below this root are more specific classifications that apply to subsets of the total set of classified objects. So for instance, in common schemes of

scientific classification of organisms, the root is called "Organism" followed by
nodes for the taxonomic ranks:Domain,kingdom,phylum,class, etc.
Taxonomy and mental classification
Some have argued that the human mind naturally organizes its knowledge of
the world into such systems. This view is often based on the epistemology of
Immanuel Kant. Anthropologists have observed that taxonomies are generally

embedded in local cultural and social systems, and serve various social functions. Perhaps the most well-known and influential study of folk taxonomies is \u00c9mile Durkheim's The Elementary Forms of Religious Life.

Various taxonomies

In phylogenetic taxonomy (or cladistic taxonomy), organisms can be classified by cl a d e s, which are based on evolutionary grouping by ancestral traits. By using clades as the criteria for separation, cladistic taxonomy, using

cladograms, can categorize taxa into unranked groups.

In numerical taxonomy ortaximetrics, the field of solving or best-fitting of numerical equations that characterize all measurable quantities of a set of objects is called cluster analysis.

Non-scientific taxonomy
Other taxonomies, such as those analyzed by Durkheim and L\u00e9vi-Strauss, are
sometimes called folk taxonomies to distinguish them fromscientific
taxonomies that claim to be disembedded from social relations and thus
objective and universal.
The neolo gism folksonomy should not be confused with "folk taxonomy"
(though it is obviously a contraction of the two words). Those who support
scientific taxonomies have recently criticized folksonomies by dubbing them
"fauxonomies" (French word"faux" means "false").

The phrase "enterprise taxonomy" is used in business to describe a very limited form of taxonomy used only within one organization. An example would be a certain method of classifying trees as "Type A", "Type B" and "Type C" used only by a certain lumber company for categorising log shipments.

See also
Bloom's Taxonomy
Carolus Linnaeus , the father of systematics

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