Content-specific auditing of a large scale anatomy ontology

Kalet, Ira and Mejino, Jose L V and Wang, Vania and Whipple, Mark and Brinkley, James F (2009) Content-specific auditing of a large scale anatomy ontology. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 42 (3). pp. 540-549.

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Biomedical ontologies are envisioned to be usable in a range of research and clinical applications. The requirements for such uses include formal consistency, adequacy of coverage, and possibly other domain specific constraints. In this report we describe a case study that illustrates how application specific requirements may be used to identify modeling problems as well as data entry errors in ontology building and evolution. We have begun a project to use the UW Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA) in a clinical application in radiation therapy planning. This application focuses mainly (but not exclusively) on the representation of the lymphatic system in the FMA, in order to predict the spread of tumor cells to regional metastatic sites. This application requires that the downstream relations associated with lymphatic system components must only be to other lymphatic chains or vessels, must be at the appropriate level of granularity, and that every path through the lymphatic system must terminate at one of the two well known trunks of the lymphatic system. It is possible through a programmable query interface to the FMA to write small programs that systematically audit the FMA for compliance with these constraints. We report on the design of some of these programs, and the results we obtained by applying them to the lymphatic system. The algorithms and approach are generalizable to other network organ systems in the FMA such as arteries and veins. In addition to illustrating exact constraint checking methods, this work illustrates how the details of an application may reflect back a requirement to revise the design of the ontology itself.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: All Projects > Foundational Model of Anatomy
Depositing User: Jim Brinkley
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2010
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 00:27

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