Using Description Logics for Managing Medical Terminologies

  • Ronald Cornet
  • Ameen Abu-Hanna
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2780)


Medical terminological knowledge bases play an increasingly important role in medicine. As their size and complexity are growing, the need arises for a means to verify and maintain the consistency and correctness of their contents. This is important for their management as well as for providing their users with confidence about the validity of their contents. In this paper we describe a method for the detection of modeling errors in a terminological knowledge base. The method uses a Description Logic (DL) for the representation of the medical knowledge and is based on the migration from a frame-based representation to a DL-based one. It is characterized by initially using strong assumptions in concept definitions thereby forcing the detection of concepts and relationships that might comprise a source of inconsistency. We demonstrate the utility of the approach in a real world case study of a terminological knowledge base in the Intensive Care domain and we discuss decisions pertaining to building DL-based representations.


Description Logic Universal Quantification Viral Meningitis Role Constructor Real World Case Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Cornet
    • 1
  • Ameen Abu-Hanna
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Medical Informatics, Academic Medical CenterUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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