Classification of Similarity-Looking Drugs by Human Perception

  • Jinhyung KimEmail author
  • Minji Park
  • Choeun Kim
  • Eunah Choi
  • Byeol Kim
  • Taezoon ParkEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 972)


The aim of this study is to investigate the similarities of drug shapes for preventing medical accidents due to similar appearances. According to the Medical Error Corrective Guidance published by the Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare’s policy team, a number of pairs of medicine that should be treated carefully in order to prevent confusion. However, systematic investigation on which morphological factors cause confusion is not enough yet. In this study, investigated human’s perception of similar drugs experimentally. As the first step, 15,000 tablet images were collected from the Korea Food & Drug Administration’s online medicine library. Among them, 100 randomly selected images were used for card sorting experiment to construct a similarity matrix. The tablets were classified into several groups based on the similarity score analyzed by multidimensional scaling (MDS). The result showed that people have a tendency to classify tablets by shape, color, size and material.


Human perception Card sorting Multidimensional scaling Drug error 



This study is supported by National Research Foundation of Korea (No. 2017R1D1A1B03032632).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Information Systems EngineeringSoongsil UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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