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RE: [OPEN] and/or [PORT] : a practical question

From: Natasha Noy <noy@SMI.Stanford.EDU>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 10:26:00 -0800
Message-Id: <p0602042cbc877ec4a252@[]>
To: "Bernard Vatant" <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Cc: SWBPD <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>

>Are there other concrete experience on that, not only theoretical 
>considerations? Seems
>like there are not so many people exploring the terminology-ontology 
>interoperability. Or
>are they?

I am not sure if Bernard's concern is only about subject hierarchies 
or about mixing ontologies and terminologies in general. If it is the 
former, than the message below is not very relevant. For the latter, 
here are a few words from the experience in a number of 
medical-informatics projects in our lab. In our experience, the issue 
of linking ontologies and terminologies comes up often. There is no 
lack of (often reasonably well-structured) controlled terminologies 
in medical informatics, using them makes sense both from reusability 
and interoperability perspectives. However, in our projects and their 
ontologies, it inevitably led to mixing classes and instances, and we 
really didn't find any practical workarounds (although admittedly we 
were not wedded to DLs, so didn't look too hard).

Consider for example clinical guidelines (again, this is a practical 
example from a couple of kb-based systems here). A specific clinical 
guideline (an instance of a class Clinical Guideline) represents the 
tests, decisions, etc. in diagnosing and treating a particular 
ailment. One of the reference terminologies used here is that of 
drugs. (cf Chris's message later: a drug hierarchy is not a 
partonomy, it is indeed a subclass hieararchy. You have 
beta-clockers, and specific types of beta-blockers as subclasses, 
etc.). So, a specific instance of a clinical guideline must refer to 
classes of drugs to be prescribed. Again, at a particular step in a 
guideline you want to prescribe a specific beta-blocker. But you want 
this guideline to be retrieved when looking for all guidelines using 
beta-blockers. Note, the guideline really refers to a class of drugs 
and not a specific bottle with pills.

I could find more examples,

Hope this helps.

Received on Wednesday, 24 March 2004 13:36:06 EST

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