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RE: Multi-layered Knowledge Representations for Healthcare (was RE: An argument for bridging information models and ontologies at the syntactic level)

From: Kashyap, Vipul <VKASHYAP1@PARTNERS.ORG>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:08:18 -0400
Message-ID: <DBA3C02EAD0DC14BBB667C345EE2D12402E8C77D@PHSXMB20.partners.org>
To: "Kashyap, Vipul" <VKASHYAP1@PARTNERS.ORG>, <dan.russler@oracle.com>
Cc: "Samson Tu" <swt@stanford.edu>, "Elkin, Peter L., M.D." <Elkin.Peter@mayo.edu>, <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, <public-hcls-coi@w3.org>
There's a slight error in the UML diagram included in the previous e-mail.
A revised UML diagram is attached with this e-mail.
 
Thanks,
 
---Vipul
 
 


________________________________

	From: public-hcls-coi-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-hcls-coi-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Kashyap, Vipul
	Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 5:02 PM
	To: dan.russler@oracle.com
	Cc: Samson Tu; Elkin, Peter L., M.D.; public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org;
public-hcls-coi@w3.org
	Subject: RE: Multi-layered Knowledge Representations for Healthcare (was
RE: An argument for bridging information models and ontologies at the syntactic
level)
	
	
	Dan,
	 
	Looks like there is increasing convergence in our view points and some
minor divergences.

		<dan> I'm confused...can you illustrate in UML, perhaps with the
blood pressure example? />
		[VK] The UML Diagram illustrating WBC is attached with this
e-mail (GIF format). Look forward to your thoughts on this issue.
		
		 
		<dan> depends what one means when one says they "create" an
ontology. An ontology is just another name for a belief system. When one writes
down one's beliefs, one is not really creating an ontology. />
		[VK] Well, that could be part of the confusion. Another
viewpoint is that an ontology is a knowledge artifact that has a broad consensus
on what it means. 
		
		 <dan> looks like the antecedent to my statement "In small
domains..." is lost somewhere above. In any case, in small domains, one can
easily get a picture of all the classes on a small diagram that is easy for
people to look at together. In large domains, the multitude of classes makes the
diagram huge and makes it difficult to express the essentials on one computer
screen or piece of paper (too many trees to see the forest). The HL7 UML model
of the RIM that makes mood and class code attributes is simply a pictorial
approach that assists discussion in many venues, i.e. one doesn't need a huge
piece of paper on the wall! Again, not to get hung up in pictures of concepts.
Focus on the concepts. />
		[VK] Yes, the requirement to make a model compact shouldn't
negatively impact the understandability of the model. Mood and type codes can be
very tricky to understand. Also these are some sort of attributes at layer 1 as
opposed to Layer 2. In some cases, the model may be more understandable in one
explicitly represents subclasses based on these codes. 
		

					[VK] OK, then what you are suggesting is
that a template is logically equivalent to a set of constraints on the
information model. Would be interested in representing these conformance
statements as a set of OWL axioms 

		<dan> I agree...Adding an OWL version of these conformance
statements would be a great next step. />
		 
		I hope this long-winded description helps in this "multi-layered
Knowledge Representation" discussion. How one classifies the concept of
"context" for a given concept, or the concept of "conformance testing the
constraints on an aggregation of structure and vocabulary" in a multi-layer
Knowledge Representation is not clear to me. 

				<dan> There are many kinds of "conformance." One
basic example is testing the contents of a data entry field before committing
the contents to the database to make sure the contents have the right kinds of
characters, e.g. numeric, alphabetic, etc. 
				[VK]  This is basically syntax checking which
checks for the format in which data is represented and is not an information
modeling or semantics issue.
				 
				 Schematron testing in CDA tests the conformance
of the XML structure and the codes and other values within the XML structure
(think terminology) to make sure the wrong codes aren't used in a specific XML
structure. 
				[VK] XMl structure testing can be tricky because
the healthcare IT community has used XML Schema to represent information models.
XML Schema is a language designed to describe the format and structure of XML
documents in contrast with languages
				such as RDF, OWL and UML which seek to describe
the semantics underlying these documents. So "checking for conformance of XML
Structure" could either (A) check for the validitiy of the structure of the XML
Document or for (B) validity of the information
				model (R-MIM) underlying the XML document. What
would be relevant is (B) and we could try to use OWL axioms to describe the type
of conformance statements represented by (B)
				Finally matching terminologies is a semantics
issues and OWL/Description Logics have been used to represent Snomed and
terminology matchin can be expressed in terms of OWL subsumptions.

		<dan> Again...agreed...OWL is a natural tool for this task />
		

				 
				 I'm sure that a broader definition of
conformance can be created that includes things as basic as character validation
and as complex as information model/vocabulary model validation. />
				[VK] What can easily be implemted using OWL is
information model/vocabulary validation
				 
				In Summary, we could propose the following Task
Force which looks at the following aspects as a part of HCLSIG:
				(A)  Determine the feasibility of OWL as a
common representational formalism for healthcare delivery information models and
terminologies
				(B) Define and implement the notion of "Semantic
Conformance" of an information model to HL7/RIM + Terminologies (may require a
restructuring of the RIM to some extent)
				 
				Let me know what your thoughts are on this and
we can figure out the next steps.
				 
				Cheers,
				 
				---Vipul

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Multi-Layered RIM Observation.gif
(image/gif attachment: Multi-Layered_RIM_Observation.gif)

Received on Monday, 21 July 2008 21:08:59 GMT

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