What is a Taxonomy Simple Definition

A taxonomy is a classification system that arranges objects or concepts into groups based on shared characteristics. It is like a hierarchically structured family tree, where each group (or “node”) contains more specific subgroups (or “child nodes”) beneath it. By classifying items into specific groups, taxonomies help organize and categorize information, making it easier to understand and navigate. They provide a framework for organizing knowledge and establishing relationships between different entities within a given field or domain.

Taxonomy: A Simple Explanation

A taxonomy is a hierarchical system used to classify and organize things.

Fundamental Principles

  • Categorization: Taxonomies group items into categories based on shared characteristics.
  • Hierarchy: Categories are organized into a tree-like structure, with broader categories at the top and more specific categories below.
  • Inheritance: Items inherit the characteristics of their parent categories.
  • Unique Identification: Each category has a unique identifier, such as a code or label.

Examples of Taxonomies

Taxonomy TypeExamplePurpose
BiologicalAnimal KingdomClassify living organisms
MedicalInternational Classification of Diseases (ICD)Diagnose and track health conditions
LibraryDewey Decimal SystemOrganize library collections

Core Concept: What is a Taxonomy?

A taxonomy is a system of classification used to organize and group information into categories, based on shared characteristics or relationships. It provides a structured framework for categorizing and organizing data, objects, or concepts to facilitate efficient retrieval, comparison, and analysis.

Key Elements of a Taxonomy:

  • Categories: Distinct groups or classes used to classify items.
  • Hierarchy: A structured arrangement of categories in a nested or layered manner, creating a pyramid-like structure.
  • Relationships: Defines the connections between categories, such as parent-child, sibling, or ancestor-descendant.
  • Rules: Guidelines or principles that govern the classification process, ensuring consistency and objectivity.

Applications of Taxonomies:

Taxonomies are widely used in various fields, including:

  • Biology: Classifying living organisms
  • Information Science: Organizing and retrieving digital content
  • Knowledge Management: Managing and sharing knowledge assets
  • Education: Classifying learning objectives and assessment tools
  • Retail: Organizing product catalogs

Example: Taxonomy of Biological Kingdoms

AnimaliaMulticellular, heterotrophic, mobile
PlantaeMulticellular, autotrophic, sessile
FungiMulticellular, heterotrophic, absorptive
ProtistaEukaryotic, diverse characteristics
MoneraProkaryotic, single-celled

What is a Set?

In mathematics, a set is a well-defined collection of distinct objects, considered as an object in its own right. The objects that belong to the set are called its elements or members.

Elementary Axiom

The following axiom is fundamental to the concept of a set:

Axiom of Extensionality: Two sets are equal if and only if they have the same elements.

This means that the order and repetition of elements in a set do not matter. For example, the sets {1, 2, 3} and {3, 2, 1} are considered identical.

Characteristics of a Set

  • Distinctness: A set cannot contain duplicate elements.
  • Unordered: The elements of a set do not have a specific order.
  • Well-defined: The membership of an element in a set must be clearly defined.
  • Specific: A set must have specific elements, and its contents cannot be ambiguous.

Set Notation

Sets are typically represented using braces ({}) and comma-separated elements within them. For example, the set of all even numbers less than 10 can be written as:

{2, 4, 6, 8}


Consider the following set:

A = {apple, banana, cherry}

In this set:

  • The elements are fruits.
  • The element “apple” is distinct from the other elements.
  • The order of elements does not matter (i.e., {banana, apple, cherry} is the same set).
  • The set is well-defined as it specifies the membership of each fruit.

Table of Operations on Sets

UnionA BCreates a new set containing all elements from both sets.
IntersectionA BCreates a new set containing only the elements that are in both sets.
ComplementACCreates a new set containing all elements not in the original set.
SubsetA BA is a subset of B if every element in A is also in B.
EqualityA = BA and B are equal if they have the same elements.

What is a Taxonomy?

A taxonomy is a system of classification used to organize and categorize different things. It provides a hierarchical structure that helps us understand the relationships between different concepts, objects, or phenomena. Taxonomies are used in various fields, including biology, linguistics, psychology, and computer science.

Essential Tenet

  • Hierarchy: Taxonomies are organized into levels or ranks, with each level representing a more specific category.
  • Nesting: Categories at lower levels are nested within categories at higher levels.
  • Mutual Exclusivity: Each item should belong to only one category at each level.
  • Completeness: The taxonomy should cover all relevant items within its scope.

Taxonomies can take various forms, including:

Flat TaxonomyA single-level list of categories.
Hierarchical TaxonomyA multi-level structure with nested categories.
Faceted TaxonomyA multi-dimensional structure that allows for cross-classification.

Taxonomies play a crucial role in organizing information, improving search and retrieval, and facilitating communication by providing a common language and shared understanding.

Alright folks, that’s all you need to know about taxonomy! Thanks for sticking with me through all the terminology and examples. I hope this article has given you a solid understanding of what taxonomy is all about. If you have any more questions or want to dive deeper into the subject, feel free to come back and visit again! I’ll be here with more interesting topics and easy-to-understand explanations. Cheers!