Liang Xiao

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

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Publications (34)3.75 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Clinical guidelines are central to the implementation of clinical decision support systems (CDSSs). Addition or revision of clinical guidelines usually causes the (re-) development of new or existing CDSSs. The separate maintenance of clinical knowledge and their driving systems implies extra system development cost and low knowledge delivery efficiency. We propose, in this paper, an approach to liaise the two activities and support a complete knowledge-driven CDSS architecture. It will accommodate and disseminate new knowledge with minimum efforts required to make relevant changes to the systems, but make use of the new knowledge whenever it becomes available. A Multi-Agent System architecture and a rule-based knowledge repository are put together to realize this goal.
    e-Health Networking, Applications and Services (Healthcom), 2012 IEEE 14th International Conference on; 01/2012
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we analyze the special security requirements for software support in health care and the HealthAgents system in particular. Our security solution consists of a link-anonymized data scheme, a secure data transportation service, a secure data sharing and collection service, and a more advanced access control mechanism. The novel security service architecture, as part of the integrated system architecture, provides a secure health-care infrastructure for HealthAgents and can be easily adapted for other health-care applications.
    The Knowledge Engineering Review 07/2011; 26(03):261 - 282. · 0.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we give an overview of methadone treatment in Ireland and outline the rationale for designing an electronic health record (EHR) with extensibility, interoperability and decision support functionality. Incorporating several international standards, a conceptual model applying a problem orientated approach in a hierarchical structure has been proposed for building the EHR. A set of archetypes has been designed in line with the current best practice and clinical guidelines which guide the information-gathering process. A web-based data entry system has been implemented, incorporating elements of the paper-based prescription form, while at the same time facilitating the decision support function. The use of archetypes was found to capture the ever changing requirements in the healthcare domain and externalises them in constrained data structures. The solution is extensible enabling the EHR to cover medicine management in general as per the programme of the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research. The data collected via this Irish system can be aggregated into a larger dataset, if necessary, for analysis and evidence-gathering, since we adopted the openEHR standard. It will be later extended to include the functionalities of prescribing drugs other than methadone along with the research agenda at the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research in Ireland.
    BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 01/2011; 11:5. · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    Knowledge Eng. Review. 01/2011; 26:261-282.
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we give an overview of methadone treatment in Ireland and outline the rationale for designing an electronic healthcare record (EHR) with extensibility, interoperability and decision support functionality. Incorporating the openEHR standard, we designed a set of archetypes in line with the current best practice and clinical guidelines. They guide the information gathering process. A web-based data entry system has been implemented, incorporating elements of the paper-based prescription form, while at the same time facilitating the decision support function. The data collected via this Irish system can be aggregated into a larger dataset, if necessary, for analysis and evidence gathering, since we adopted the openEHR standard. It will be later extended to include the functionalities of prescribing drugs other than methadone during our work at the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research.
    Biomedical Engineering and Informatics (BMEI), 2010 3rd International Conference on; 11/2010
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    ABSTRACT: Realising the vision of pervasive healthcare will generate new challenges to system security. Such challenges are fundamentally different from issues and problems that we face in centralised approaches as well as non-clinical scenarios. In this paper, we reflect upon our experiences in the HealthAgents project wherein a prototype system was developed and a novel approach employed that supports data transfer and decision making in human brain tumour diagnosis and treatment. While the decision making needs to rely on different clinical expertise, the HealthAgents system leveraged a domain ontology to align different sub-domain vocabularies and we have experimented with a process calculus to glue together distributed services. We examine the capability of the Lightweight Coordination Calculus (LCC), a process calculus based language, in meeting security challenges in pervasive settings, especially in the healthcare domain. The key difference in approach lies in making the representational abstraction reflect the relative autonomy of the various clinical specialisms involved in contributing to patient management. The scope within LCC of accommodating Boolean-valued constraints allows for flexible integration of heterogeneous sources in multiple formats, which are characteristic features of a pervasive healthcare environment.
    Computers & Security. 01/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: Patient records and their disease and treatment history can be scattered among healthcare providers. Sharing the knowledge effectively and, at the same time, respecting patient privacy is crucial in providing safe and accurate clinical decision support systems (CDSSs). In this paper we reflect upon our experience in the HealthAgents project wherein a prototype system was developed and a novel approach employed that supports data transfer and decision making in human brain tumour diagnosis. Here we examine the capability of the lightweight coordination calculus (LCC), a process calculus-based language, in combining together distributed healthcare services and meeting security challenges in pervasive settings. The result is that various clinical specialisms, being captured in representational abstractions and making contribution to patient diagnosis and management, retain their autonomy. However, at the same time, the behaviour of specialists in sharing clinical knowledge about their patients and providing clinical support is constrained by policies and rules in respect of their own clinical duties and responsibilities. Being introduced into the programme of the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research, this novel approach has the potential to help the provision of optimal solutions in data linkage and sharing across the primary and cecondary care interface. As added value, its application also advances the process of integrating clinical prediction rules and implementing CDSSs in practice and, ultimately, the improvement of quality of care.
    Information Technology Interfaces, 2009. ITI '09. Proceedings of the ITI 2009 31st International Conference on; 07/2009
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    Liang Xiao, Des Greer
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    ABSTRACT: Adaptivity is very often an important goal for software systems. This paper reviews existing approaches to achieving adaptivity in object oriented systems, particularly those using design patterns, and concludes that there are further opportunities for improving adaptivity in agent systems. The approach described proposes that agents should be coupled with the environment, rules and laws about agent behaviour being externalised in a continuously re-configurable knowledge repository. Tools have been implemented to support the re-configuration. Once new requirements are specified by business experts via the tools, the system automatically adapts its behaviour in the environment, without additional effort from developers. This novel approach pulls together a knowledgebase, configuration tools, and business experts as an integral environment through which the MAS achieves re-configurability ranging from overall infrastructure to individual policy sets. This fosters cost effective software evolution because much of the effort resulting from changes to business strategies and collaborations can be shifted from developers to customers, code change not being required since the environment maintains the dynamics instead.
    Multiagent and Grid Systems. 01/2009; 5:109-131.
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    Liang Xiao
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    ABSTRACT: Model-driven architecture (MDA) supports model-centred software development via successive model transformation. In MDA, the reusability of models is improved as well as the traceability of requirements. Agent-oriented model-driven architecture (AMDA) associates adaptive agents with a business-oriented interaction model and lets agents dynamically interpret their behaviour from the continuously maintained model via which the current business needs are deployed at runtime. The continuous re-interpretation rather than discrete re-transformation of models means immediate requirements deployment after re-configuration, no system down time being required to affect changes and results in a development process that is oriented to business experts rather than developers. Adopting the adaptive agent model, an AMDA paradigm, we put forward a security–aware model-driven mechanism by using an extension of the role-based access control (RBAC) model. For this purpose, the concept of agent role proposed in agent-oriented software engineering (AOSE) is integrated with the one proposed in RBAC. Agent duties are specified in an interaction model and describe the roles that agents can play to fulfil their functional responsibilities. Agent rights are specified in a security policy rule model attached to the interaction model and describe constraints upon agent capabilities caused by their associated social roles. The role-based interaction and policy-driven model incorporates both agent rights and duties. Hence, functional requirements and non-functional security constraint requirements are put together, related by the concept of role. Consequently, agents can continuously use the re-configurable model to play their roles in order to fulfil their responsibilities, and at the same time respect the security constraints. The major contribution from the approach is a method for building adaptive and secure MAS, following model-driven architecture. The approach is illustrated with an actual British railway management system.
    Information and Software Technology. 01/2009;
  • Liang Xiao, Des Greer
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    ABSTRACT: Model-Driven Architecture (MDA) promotes the development of software systems through successive building and generation of models, improving the reusability of models. Applying the same principles to the area of Agent-Oriented Software Engineering (AOSE) advances the ideas behind MDA even more significantly, due to the inherent adaptivity of software agents We describe an appropriate set of models originating from requirements specification and transformable to models understandable and executable by agents thus demonstrating an Agent-oriented Model-Driven Architecture (AMDA) approach. In AMDA, agents use hierarchical business knowledge models with business process rules at the top, business rules to control policy and logic in the middle and a base layer defining business concepts. Being externalised, knowledge is easily configurable by human beings and applied by software agents. A real case study is used to illustrate the process. The main advances over the object-oriented MDA are (i) the addition of component dynamics (ii) the use of agent-executable rule-based business models and (iii) a proposed higher level of abstraction with the direct representation of business requirements.
    Information and Software Technology. 01/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Distributed decision support systems designed for healthcare use can benefit from services and information available across a decentralised environment. The sophisticated nature of collaboration among involved partners who contribute services or sensitive data in this paradigm, however, demands careful attention from the beginning of designing such systems. Apart from the traditional need of secure data transmission across clinical centres, a more important issue arises from the need of consensus for access to system-wide resources by separately managed user groups from each centre. A primary concern is the determination of interactive tasks that should be made available to authorised users, and further the clinical resources that can be populated into interactions in compliance with user clinical roles and policies. To this end, explicit interaction modelling is put forward along with the contextual constraints within interactions that together enforce secure access, the interaction participation being governed by system-wide policies and local resource access being governed by node-wide policies. Clinical security requirements are comprehensively analysed, prior to the design and building of our security model. The application of the approach results in a Multi-Agent System driven by secure interaction models. This is illustrated using a prototype of the HealthAgents system.
    Computer Safety, Reliability, and Security, 27th International Conference, SAFECOMP 2008, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, September 22-25, 2008, Proceedings; 01/2008
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    Liang Xiao, Paul H. Lewis, Alex Gibb
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we describe the unique security issues involved in healthcare domains. These have been addressed to the needs of the HealthAgents project. In the proposed approach, several levels of security have been provided in accordance with Software Engineering principles, ethical regulations for healthcare data, as well as the security requirements usually raised from the distributed clinical settings. The result is the production of a secure and maintainable Multi-Agent System that enables secure communication, uniform home site authentication, and customised resource access authorisation. A security policy rule scheme has been designed for agent interaction modelling. This separates the functional and non-functional (security) requirements but let security policy constraints integrate into the running of the agents via a unified role notion. Each user/agent can play a function role only when its assigned social rights roles permit the access to resources of various types and geographical locations, as specified in the function role behaviour. The approach is illustrated using a comprehensive secure access case.
    30th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2008), Leipzig, Germany, May 10-18, 2008; 01/2008
  • Liang Xiao, Des Greer
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    ABSTRACT: Adaptivity in software is important since business processes, business rules and business terms constantly evolve. A radical solution is described that makes use of the inherent adaptivity of software agents. The Adaptive Agent Model (AAM) represents business knowledge in a hierarchical structure consisting of a business concepts layer, a business rules layer, and a business processes layer. Collectively, these form a knowledge base sourced from the business requirements, that is available to running agents. Such externalised knowledge is easily maintained. Using a case study, the knowledge hierarchy is described and its contribution to the goal of software adaptivity assessed.
    IJCAT. 01/2008; 31:3-16.
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    ABSTRACT: A distributed decision support system involving multiple clinical centres is crucial to the diagnosis of rare diseases. Although sharing of valid diagnosed cases can facilitate later decision making, possibly from geographically different centres, the released information could reveal patient privacy if it is not properly protected. Clinical centres may have to impose their distinct regulations and rules that govern the use of their data externally. The collaboration of centres, therefore, must respect the collective policies and ideally, serve users the most appropriate and useful resources possible in the system according to the past experience. In this way, the system's value is entrusted and even elevated through continuous collaboration. We present in this paper a link-anonymised data scheme and in addition to that, a security model that together enforce privacy data security and secure resource access for distributed clinical centres. Our illustration of the approach involves a prototype medical decision support system, HealthAgents, for brain tumour diagnosis.
    Proceedings of the The Third International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, ARES 2008, March 4-7, 2008, Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona , Spain; 01/2008
  • Bo Hu, Liang Xiao, D. Dupplaw
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    ABSTRACT: Ubiquitous healthcare (UbiCare) refers to an emerging paradigm that fundamentally changes the way one accesses healthcare services. UbiCare presents itself as both an opportunity and a challenge to the traditional semantics-enriched knowledge management (KM). It provides a good testbed upon which traditional KM methodology can be validated and verified. It is a challenge in the sense that many assumptions made with respect to the traditional KM models are no longer applicable. In this paper, we review our recent work in the breast cancer domain and reflect on what can and should have been achieved when semantic web technologies are applied to healthcare. We then speculate on the possible impact of the new healthcare paradigm on KM.
    Pervasive Computing and Applications, 2007. ICPCA 2007. 2nd International Conference on; 08/2007
  • Liang Xiao, Bo Hu
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    ABSTRACT: Multi-agent systems (MAS) must be capable to cope with continuous requirements changes by wisely making use of emerging components and services to remain useful in their environment. At the same time, engineering security into MAS confronts us with new challenges in relation to the complex and unique characteristics of agents. In this paper, an adaptive and secure MAS architecture is put forward. The approach addresses the needs of both adaptive agent behaviour and their security constraints. Central to the method is configurable interaction models, in which the traditional role concept has been extended. The new concept incorporates the need of both security management as used by role-based access control (RBAC) and agent role-playing behaviour in agent-oriented software engineering (AOSE). The models capturing the functional and non-functional requirements are continuously maintained by business experts at a high level of abstraction. Ultimately, agents interpret from the up-to-date models their constrained behaviour. The major contribution of the work is that little redevelopment effort will be required when requirements with regard to agent functions and the security constraints associated with the functions need to be changed, hence minimising the impact of the requirements changes to the overall system. A simple expert seeking scenario has been used to illustrate the approach.
    Pervasive Computing and Applications, 2007. ICPCA 2007. 2nd International Conference on; 08/2007
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    ABSTRACT: Software systems must be capable of coping with continuous requirements changes and at the same time wisely make use of emerging components and services to remain useful in their environment. In this paper, the Adaptive Agent Model (AAM) approach is proposed. The AAM uses configurable interaction model to drive adaptive agent behaviour. The model captures user requirements and is maintained by experts at a high level of abstraction. The AAM interaction model has been discussed with regard to interaction specification and interaction coordination, in line with a coordination language for the OpenKnowledge project. A major benefit of using the approach is agents can dynamically choose disparate components and services already developed for computation via their interaction with each other at runtime, when a new interaction model has been configured for them towards an emerging business goal. A simple expert seeking scenario has been used to illustrate the approach.
    Computer Software and Applications Conference, Annual International. 07/2007; 2:153-158.
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    ABSTRACT: HealthAgents proposes an agent-based distributed decision support system for brain tumour diagnosis and prognosis which employs Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy techniques and genomic profiles. From a knowledge representation view point the distributed nature and the heterogeneity of the data to be integrated pose a number of challenging problems. This paper shows how Conceptual Graphs can be employed to describe the data sources in the HealthAgents system. Such knowledge representation based description of data allows for reasoning power when querying and for data modularisation capabilities.
    Conceptual Structures: Knowledge Architectures for Smart Applications, 15th International Conference on Conceptual Structures, ICCS 2007, Sheffield, UK, July 22-27, 2007, Proceedings; 01/2007
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    ABSTRACT: OpenKnowledge is a peer-to-peer system for sharing knowledge and is driven by interaction models that give the necessary context for mapping of ontological knowledge fragments necessary for the interaction to take place. The OpenKnowledge system is agnostic to any specific data formats that are used in the interactions, relying on ontology mapping techniques for shimming the messages. The potentially large search space for matching ontologies is reduced by the shared context of the interaction. In this paper we investigate what this means for multimedia data on the OpenKnowledge network by discussing how an existing application that provides multimedia annotation (the Semantic Logger) can be migrated into the OpenKnowledge domain.
    01/2007;
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    Liang Xiao, Des Greer
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Model-Driven Architecture (MDA) supports,the transformation,from,reusable models to executable software. Business representations, however, cannot be fully and,explicitly represented,in such,models,for direct transformation,into running systems. Thus, once business needs change, the language abstractions used by MDA (e.g. object constraint language/action semantics), being low level, have to be edited directly. We therefore describe an agent-oriented MDA (AMDA) that uses a set of business,models,under,continuous,maintenance,by business people, reflecting the current business needs and being associated with,adaptive,agents,that,interpret,the,captured,knowledge,to behave dynamically. Three contributions,of the AMDA approach,are identified: (1) to Agent-oriented Software Engineering, a method of building adaptive Multi- Agent Systems; (2) to MDA, a means of abstracting high-level business- oriented,models,to,align,executable,systems,with,their,requirements at runtime; (3) to distributed systems, the interoperability of disparate components,and,services via the agent,abstraction. European Journal of Information Systems (2007) 16, 390–406. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ejis.3000688
    European Journal of Information Systems 01/2007; 16:390-406. · 1.56 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

95 Citations
3.75 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009–2011
    • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
      • HRB Centre for Primary Care Research
      Dublin, Leinster, Ireland
  • 2008–2011
    • University of Southampton
      • Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences
      Southampton, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2005–2009
    • Queen's University Belfast
      • School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
      Béal Feirste, N Ireland, United Kingdom