Research Items (37)
We created the Ontology of Craniofacial Development and Malformation (OCDM)  to provide a unifying framework for organizing and integrating craniofacial data ranging from genes to clinical phenotypes from multi-species. Within this framework we focused on spatio-structural representation of anatomical entities related to craniofacial development and malformation, such as craniosynostosis and midface hypoplasia. Animal models are used to support human studies and so we built multi-species ontologies that would allow for cross-species correlation of anatomical information. For this purpose we first developed and enhanced the craniofacial component of the human musculoskeletal system in the Foundational Model of Anatomy Ontology (FMA), and then imported this component, which we call the Craniofacial Human Ontology (CHO), into the OCDM. The CHO was then used as a template to create the anatomy for the mouse, the Craniofacial Mouse Ontology (CMO) as well as for the zebrafish, the Craniofacial Zebrafish Ontology (CZO).
Objective: The Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA) [Rosse C, Mejino JLV. A reference ontology for bioinformatics: the Foundational Model of Anatomy. J. Biomed. Inform. 2003;36:478-500] is an ontology that represents canonical anatomy at levels ranging from the entire body to biological macromolecules, and has rapidly become the primary reference ontology for human anatomy, and a template for model organisms. Prior to this work, the FMA was developed in a knowledge modeling language known as Protégé Frames. Frames is an intuitive representational language, but is no longer the industry standard. Recognizing the need for an official version of the FMA in the more modern semantic web language OWL2 (hereafter referred to as OWL), the objective of this work was to create a generalizable Frames-to-OWL conversion tool, to use the tool to convert the FMA to OWL, to "clean up" the converted FMA so that it classifies under an EL reasoner, and then to do all further development in OWL. Methods: The conversion tool is a Java application that uses the Protégé knowledge representation API for interacting with the initial Frames ontology, and uses the OWL-API for producing new statements (axioms, etc.) in OWL. The converter is relation centric. The conversion is configurable, on a property-by-property basis, via user-specifiable XML configuration files. The best conversion, for each property, was determined in conjunction with the FMA knowledge author. The convertor is potentially generalizable, which we partially demonstrate by using it to convert our Ontology of Craniofacial Development and Malformation as well as the FMA. Post-conversion cleanup involved using the Explain feature of Protégé to trace classification errors under the ELK reasoner in Protégé, fixing the errors, then re-running the reasoner. Results: We are currently doing all our development in the converted and cleaned-up version of the FMA. The FMA (updated every 3 months) is available via our FMA web page http://si.washington.edu/projects/fma, which also provides access to mailing lists, an issue tracker, a SPARQL endpoint (updated every week), and an online browser. The converted OCDM is available at http://www.si.washington.edu/projects/ocdm. The conversion code is open source, and available at http://purl.org/sig/software/frames2owl. Prior to the post-conversion cleanup 73% of the more than 100,000 classes were unsatisfiable. After correction of six types of errors no classes remained unsatisfiable. Conclusion: Because our FMA conversion captures all or most of the information in the Frames version, is the only complete OWL version that classifies under an EL reasoner, and is maintained by the FMA authors themselves, we propose that this version should be the only official release version of the FMA in OWL, supplanting all other versions. Although several issues remain to be resolved post-conversion, release of a single, standardized version of the FMA in OWL will greatly facilitate its use in informatics research and in the development of a global knowledge base within the semantic web. Because of the fundamental nature of anatomy in both understanding and organizing biomedical information, and because of the importance of the FMA in particular in representing human anatomy, the FMA in OWL should greatly accelerate the development of an anatomically based structural information framework for organizing and linking a large amount of biomedical information.
Disorders of the peripheral nervous system have traditionally been evaluated using clinical history, physical examination, and electrodiagnostic testing. In selected cases, imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance (MR) neurography may help further localize or characterize abnormalities associated with peripheral neuropathies, and the clinical importance of such techniques is increasing. However, MR image interpretation with respect to peripheral nerve anatomy and disease often presents a diagnostic challenge because the relevant knowledge base remains relatively specialized. Using the radiology knowledge resource RadLex®, a series of RadLex queries, the Annotation and Image Markup standard for image annotation, and a Web services-based software architecture, the authors developed an application that allows ontology-assisted image navigation. The application provides an image browsing interface, allowing users to visually inspect the imaging appearance of anatomic structures. By interacting directly with the images, users can access additional structure-related information that is derived from RadLex (eg, muscle innervation, muscle attachment sites). These data also serve as conceptual links to navigate from one portion of the imaging atlas to another. With 3.0-T MR neurography of the brachial plexus as the initial area of interest, the resulting application provides support to radiologists in the image interpretation process by allowing efficient exploration of the MR imaging appearance of relevant nerve segments, muscles, bone structures, vascular landmarks, anatomic spaces, and entrapment sites, and the investigation of neuromuscular relationships. (©)RSNA, 2015.
Background: A myriad of new tools and algorithms have been developed to help public health professionals analyze and visualize the complex data used in infectious disease control. To better understand approaches to meet these users' information needs, we conducted a systematic literature review focused on the landscape of infectious disease visualization tools for public health professionals, with a special emphasis on geographic information systems (GIS), molecular epidemiology, and social network analysis. The objectives of this review are to: (1) identify public health user needs and preferences for infectious disease information visualization tools; (2) identify existing infectious disease information visualization tools and characterize their architecture and features; (3) identify commonalities among approaches applied to different data types; and (4) describe tool usability evaluation efforts and barriers to the adoption of such tools. Methods: We identified articles published in English from January 1, 1980 to June 30, 2013 from five bibliographic databases. Articles with a primary focus on infectious disease visualization tools, needs of public health users, or usability of information visualizations were included in the review. Results: A total of 88 articles met our inclusion criteria. Users were found to have diverse needs, preferences and uses for infectious disease visualization tools, and the existing tools are correspondingly diverse. The architecture of the tools was inconsistently described, and few tools in the review discussed the incorporation of usability studies or plans for dissemination. Many studies identified concerns regarding data sharing, confidentiality and quality. Existing tools offer a range of features and functions that allow users to explore, analyze, and visualize their data, but the tools are often for siloed applications. Commonly cited barriers to widespread adoption included lack of organizational support, access issues, and misconceptions about tool use. Discussion and conclusion: As the volume and complexity of infectious disease data increases, public health professionals must synthesize highly disparate data to facilitate communication with the public and inform decisions regarding measures to protect the public's health. Our review identified several themes: consideration of users' needs, preferences, and computer literacy; integration of tools into routine workflow; complications associated with understanding and use of visualizations; and the role of user trust and organizational support in the adoption of these tools. Interoperability also emerged as a prominent theme, highlighting challenges associated with the increasingly collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of infectious disease control and prevention. Future work should address methods for representing uncertainty and missing data to avoid misleading users as well as strategies to minimize cognitive overload.
The diverse set of human brain structure and function analysis methods represents a difficult challenge for reconciling multiple views of neuroanatomical organization. While different views of organization are expected and valid, no widely adopted approach exists to harmonize different brain labeling protocols and terminologies. Our approach uses the natural organizing framework provided by anatomical structure to correlate terminologies commonly used in neuroimaging.Description: The Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA) Ontology provides a semantic framework for representing the anatomical entities and relationships that constitute the phenotypic organization of the human body. In this paper we describe recent enhancements to the neuroanatomical content of the FMA that models cytoarchitectural and morphological regions of the cerebral cortex, as well as white matter structure and connectivity. This modeling effort is driven by the need to correlate and reconcile the terms used in neuroanatomical labeling protocols. By providing an ontological framework that harmonizes multiple views of neuroanatomical organization, the FMA provides developers with reusable and computable knowledge for a range of biomedical applications. A requirement for facilitating the integration of basic and clinical neuroscience data from diverse sources is a well-structured ontology that can incorporate, organize, and associate neuroanatomical data. We applied the ontological framework of the FMA to align the vocabularies used by several human brain atlases, and to encode emerging knowledge about structural connectivity in the brain. We highlighted several use cases of these extensions, including ontology reuse, neuroimaging data annotation, and organizing 3D brain models.
We introduce the Ontology of Craniofacial Development and Malformation (OCDM), a project of the NIH-funded FaceBase consortium, whose goal is to gather data from multiple species, at levels ranging from genes to gross anatomy, in order to understand the causes of craniofacial abnormalities. The OCDM is being developed in order to facilitate integration of these diverse forms of data in a central Hub. It currently consists of several components, including human adult and developmental anatomy, corresponding mouse structures, and malformations. Example queries show the potential of the OCDM for intelligent data annotation and querying.
- Nov 2013
We introduce the Ontology of Craniofacial Development and Malformation (OCDM) as a mechanism for representing knowledge about craniofacial development and malformation, and for using that knowledge to facilitate integrating craniofacial data obtained via multiple techniques from multiple labs and at multiple levels of granularity. The OCDM is a project of the NIDCR-sponsored FaceBase Consortium, whose goal is to promote and enable research into the genetic and epigenetic causes of specific craniofacial abnormalities through the provision of publicly accessible, integrated craniofacial data. However, the OCDM should be usable for integrating any web-accessible craniofacial data, not just those data available through FaceBase. The OCDM is based on the Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA), our comprehensive ontology of canonical human adult anatomy, and includes modules to represent adult and developmental craniofacial anatomy in both human and mouse, mappings between homologous structures in human and mouse, and associated malformations. We describe these modules, as well as prototype uses of the OCDM for integrating craniofacial data. By using the terms from the OCDM to annotate data, and by combining queries over the ontology with those over annotated data, it becomes possible to create "intelligent" queries that can, for example, find gene expression data obtained from mouse structures that are precursors to homologous human structures involved in malformations such as cleft lip. We suggest that the OCDM can be useful not only for integrating craniofacial data, but also for expressing new knowledge gained from analyzing the integrated data © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Human studies are one of the most valuable sources of knowledge in biomedical research, but data about their design and results are currently widely dispersed in siloed systems. Federation of these data is needed to facilitate large-scale data analysis to realize the goals of evidence-based medicine. The Human Studies Database project has developed an informatics infrastructure for federated query of human studies databases, using a generalizable approach to ontology-based data access. Our approach has three main components. First, the Ontology of Clinical Research (OCRe) provides the reference semantics. Second, a data model, automatically derived from OCRe into XSD, maintains semantic synchrony of the underlying representations while facilitating data acquisition using common XML technologies. Finally, the Query Integrator issues queries distributed over the data, OCRe, and other ontologies such as SNOMED in BioPortal. We report on a demonstration of this infrastructure on data acquired from institutional systems and from ClinicalTrials.gov.
- Jun 2012
- Proceedings of the 24th international conference on Scientific and Statistical Database Management
Users interested in biological and biomedical information sets on the semantic web are frequently not computer scientists. These researchers often find it difficult to use declarative query and view definition languages to manipulate these RDF data sets. We define a language IML consisting of a small number of graph transformations that can be composed in a dataflow style to transform RDF ontologies. The language's operations closely map to the high-level manipulations users undertake when transforming ontologies using a visual editor. To reduce the potentially high cost of evaluating queries over these transformations on demand, we describe a query rewriting engine for evaluating queries on IML views. The rewriter leverages IML's dataflow style and optimizations to eliminate unnecessary transformations in answering a query over an IML view. We evaluate our rewriter's performance on queries over use case view definitions on one or more biomedical ontologies.
Objectives: Currently, the primary means for answering anatomical questions such as 'what vital organs would potentially be impacted by a bullet wound to the abdomen?' is to look them up in textbooks or to browse online sources. In this work we describe a semantic web service and spatial query processor that permits a user to graphically pose such questions as joined queries over separately defined spatial and symbolic knowledge sources. Methods: Spatial relations (e.g. anterior) were defined by two anatomy experts, and based on a 3-D volume of labeled images of the thorax, all the labeled anatomical structures were queried to retrieve the target structures for every query structure and every spatial relation. A web user interface and a web service were designed to relate existing symbolic information from the Foundational Model of Anatomy ontology (FMA) with spatial information provided by the spatial query processor, and to permit users to select anatomical structures and define queries. Results: We evaluated the accuracy of results returned by the queries, and since there is no independent gold standard, we used two anatomy experts' opinions as the gold standard for comparison. We asked the same experts to define the gold standard and to define the spatial relations. The F-measure for the overall evaluation is 0.90 for rater 1 and 0.56 for rater 2. The percentage of observed agreement is 99% and Cohen's kappa coefficient reaches 0.51. The main source of disagreement relates to issues with the labels used in the dataset, and not with the tool itself. Conclusions: In its current state the system can be used as an end-user application but it is likely to be of most use as a framework for building end-user applications such as displaying the results as a 3-D anatomical scene. The system promises potential practical utility for obtaining and navigating spatial and symbolic data.
We introduce two concepts: the Query Web as a layer of interconnected queries over the document web and the semantic web, and a Query Web Integrator and Manager (QI) that enables the Query Web to evolve. QI permits users to write, save and reuse queries over any web accessible source, including other queries saved in other installations of QI. The saved queries may be in any language (e.g. SPARQL, XQuery); the only condition for interconnection is that the queries return their results in some form of XML. This condition allows queries to chain off each other, and to be written in whatever language is appropriate for the task. We illustrate the potential use of QI for several biomedical use cases, including ontology view generation using a combination of graph-based and logical approaches, value set generation for clinical data management, image annotation using terminology obtained from an ontology web service, ontology-driven brain imaging data integration, small-scale clinical data integration, and wider-scale clinical data integration. Such use cases illustrate the current range of applications of QI and lead us to speculate about the potential evolution from smaller groups of interconnected queries into a larger query network that layers over the document and semantic web. The resulting Query Web could greatly aid researchers and others who now have to manually navigate through multiple information sources in order to answer specific questions.
A method for automated location of shape differences in diseased anatomical structures via high resolution biomedical atlases annotated with labels from formal ontologies is described. In particular, a high resolution magnetic resonance image of the myocardium of the human left ventricle was segmented and annotated with structural terms from an extracted subset of the Foundational Model of Anatomy ontology. The atlas was registered to the end systole template of a previous study of left ventricular remodeling in cardiomyopathy using a diffeomorphic registration algorithm. The previous study used thresholding and visual inspection to locate a region of statistical significance which distinguished patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy from those with nonischemic cardiomyopathy. Using semantic technologies and the deformed annotated atlas, this location was more precisely found. Although this study used only a cardiac atlas, it provides a proof-of-concept that ontologically labeled biomedical atlases of any anatomical structure can be used to automate location-based inferences.
In a previous study, Ardekani et. al. used the Large Deformation Diffeomorphic Metric Mapping (LDDMM) image registration algorithm to analyze the left ventricle of 25 human subjects at both end systole (ES) and end diastole (ED) phases of the cardiac cycle. Of these 25 subjects, 12 had nonischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM) and 13 had ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM). An average template image at each of ES and ED was generated and then mapped using LDDMM to each patient image. A statistical analysis of the voxel-based Jacobian map, which encodes local tissue volume difference, found one region of statistically significant volume expansion in the NICM group compared to the ICM group. Visual inspection by an expert clinician located this region in the mid anterior subregion of the left ventricle. Using vSPARQL-an extension of SPARQL allowing for recursive and sub-queries the subclass hierarchy surrounding the term Region_of_mγocardium was extracted from the Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA).
- Feb 2011
Translational medicine applications would like to leverage the biological and biomedical ontologies, vocabularies, and data sets available on the semantic web. We present a general solution for RDF information set reuse inspired by database views. Our view definition language, vSPARQL, allows applications to specify the exact content that they are interested in and how that content should be restructured or modified. Applications can access relevant content by querying against these view definitions. We evaluate the expressivity of our approach by defining views for practical use cases and comparing our view definition language to existing query languages.
The annotation of functional neuroimaging results for data sharing and re-use is particularly challenging, due to the diversity of terminologies of neuroanatomical structures and cortical parcellation schemes. To address this challenge, we extended the Foundational Model of Anatomy Ontology (FMA) to include cytoarchitectural, Brodmann area labels, and a morphological cortical labeling scheme (e.g., the part of Brodmann area 6 in the left precentral gyrus). This representation was also used to augment the neuroanatomical axis of RadLex, the ontology for clinical imaging. The resulting neuroanatomical ontology contains explicit relationships indicating which brain regions are "part of" which other regions, across cytoarchitectural and morphological labeling schemas. We annotated a large functional neuroimaging dataset with terms from the ontology and applied a reasoning engine to analyze this dataset in conjunction with the ontology, and achieved successful inferences from the most specific level (e.g., how many subjects showed activation in a subpart of the middle frontal gyrus) to more general (how many activations were found in areas connected via a known white matter tract?). In summary, we have produced a neuroanatomical ontology that harmonizes several different terminologies of neuroanatomical structures and cortical parcellation schemes. This neuroanatomical ontology is publicly available as a view of FMA at the Bioportal website. The ontological encoding of anatomic knowledge can be exploited by computer reasoning engines to make inferences about neuroanatomical relationships described in imaging datasets using different terminologies. This approach could ultimately enable knowledge discovery from large, distributed fMRI studies or medical record mining.
- May 2010
This study reports on the characteristics and distribution of naming errors of patients undergoing cortical stimulation mapping (CSM). During the procedure, electrical stimulation is used to induce temporary functional lesions and locate 'essential' language areas for preservation. Under stimulation, patients are shown slides of common objects and asked to name them. Cortical stimulation can lead to a variety of naming errors. In the present study, we aggregate errors across patients to examine the neuroanatomical correlates and linguistic characteristics of six common errors: semantic paraphasias, circumlocutions, phonological paraphasias, neologisms, performance errors, and no-response errors. Aiding analysis, we relied on a suite of web-based querying and imaging tools that enabled the summative mapping of normalized stimulation sites. Errors were visualized and analyzed by type and location. We provide descriptive statistics to characterize the commonality of errors across patients and location. The errors observed suggest a widely distributed and heterogeneous cortical network that gives rise to differential patterning of paraphasic errors. Data are discussed in relation to emerging models of language representation that honor distinctions between frontal, parietal, and posterior temporal dorsal implementation systems and ventral-temporal lexical semantic and phonological storage and assembly regions; the latter of which may participate both in language comprehension and production.
- Dec 2009
Genome wide association studies (GWAS) are an important approach to understanding the genetic mechanisms behind human diseases. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the predominant markers used in genome wide association studies, and the ability to predict which SNPs are likely to be functional is important for both a priori and a posteriori analyses of GWA studies. This article describes the design, implementation and evaluation of a family of systems for the purpose of identifying SNPs that may cause a change in phenotypic outcomes. The methods described in this article characterize the feasibility of combinations of logical and probabilistic inference with federated data integration for both point and regional SNP annotation and analysis. Evaluations of the methods demonstrate the overall strong predictive value of logical, and logical with probabilistic, inference applied to the domain of SNP annotation.
Mediator-based data integration systems resolve exploratory queries by joining data elements across sources. In the presence of uncertainties, such multiple expansions can quickly lead to spurious connections and incorrect results. The BioRank project investigates formalisms for modeling uncertainty during scientific data integration and for ranking uncertain query results. Our motivating application is protein function prediction. In this paper we show that: (i) explicit modeling of uncertainties as probabilities increases our ability to predict less-known or previously unknown functions (though it does not improve predicting the well-known). This suggests that probabilistic uncertainty models offer utility for scientific knowledge discovery; (ii) small perturbations in the input probabilities tend to produce only minor changes in the quality of our result rankings. This suggests that our methods are robust against slight variations in the way uncertainties are transformed into probabilities; and (iii) several techniques allow us to evaluate our probabilistic rankings efficiently. This suggests that probabilistic query evaluation is not as hard for real-world problems as theory indicates.
This paper addresses the need for relatively small groups of collaborating investigators to integrate distributed and heterogeneous data about the brain. Although various national efforts facilitate large-scale data sharing, these approaches are generally too "heavyweight" for individual or small groups of investigators, with the result that most data sharing among collaborators continues to be ad hoc. Our approach to this problem is to create a "lightweight" distributed query architecture, in which data sources are accessible via web services that accept arbitrary query languages but return XML results. A Distributed XQuery Processor (DXQP) accepts distributed XQueries in which subqueries are shipped to the remote data sources to be executed, with the resulting XML integrated by DXQP. A web-based application called DXBrain accesses DXQP, allowing a user to create, save and execute distributed XQueries, and to view the results in various formats including a 3-D brain visualization. Example results are presented using distributed brain mapping data sources obtained in studies of language organization in the brain, but any other XML source could be included. The advantage of this approach is that it is very easy to add and query a new source, the tradeoff being that the user needs to understand XQuery and the schemata of the underlying sources. For small numbers of known sources this burden is not onerous for a knowledgeable user, leading to the conclusion that the system helps to fill the gap between ad hoc local methods and large scale but complex national data sharing efforts.
Recent advances in semantic web technologies now provide the methodology for efficient and adaptable deployment of ontology support to biomedical applications for data annotation and integration.
OWL, the Web Ontology Language, provides syntax and semantics for representing knowledge for the semantic web. Many of the constructs of OWL have a basis in the field of description logics. While the formal underpinnings of description logics have lead to a highly computable language, it has come at a cognitive cost. OWL ontologies are often unintuitive to readers lacking a strong logic background. In this work we describe GLEEN, a regular path expression library, which extends the RDF query language SparQL to support complex path expressions over OWL and other RDF-based ontologies. We illustrate the utility of GLEEN by showing how it can be used in a query-based approach to defining simpler, more intuitive views of OWL ontologies. In particular we show how relatively simple GLEEN-enhanced SparQL queries can create views of the OWL version of the NCI Thesaurus that match the views generated by the web-based NCI browser.
The semantic web provides the possiblity of linking together large numbers of biomedical ontologies. Unfortunately, many of the biomedical ontologies that have been developed are domain-specific and do not share a common structure that will allow them to be easily combined. Reference ontologies provide the necessary ontological framework for linking together these smaller, specialized ontologies. We present extensions to the semantic web query language SparQL that will allow researchers to develop application ontologies that are derived from reference ontologies. We have modified the ARQ query processor to support subqueries, recursive subqueries, and Skolem functions for node creation. We demonstrate the utility of these extensions by deriving an application ontology from the Foundational Model of Anatomy.
There is a significant need for data integration capabilities in the scientific domain, which has manifested itself as products in the commercial world as well as academia. However, in our experiences in dealing with biological data it has become apparent to us that existing data integration products do not handle uncertainties in the data very well. This leads to systems that often produce an explosion of less relevant answers which subsequently leads to a loss of more relevant answers by overloading the user. How to incorporate functionality into data integration systems to properly handle uncertainties and make results more useful has become an important research question. In this paper we describe an enhanced general-purpose data integration system which incorporates uncertainty metrics within a formal probabilistic framework. Additionally, for evaluation purposes, we have implemented a use case scenario which utilizes biological data sources and performed a study which provides validation of system query results.
- Feb 2007
One approach to simplifying ontologies, for inclusion in a more tractable semantic web, is through the use of non-materialized view queries. View queries define how a simplified "view" or "application" ontology is derived from larger more complex ontologies. In this work we look at a language for specifying view queries over OWL/RDFS sources, and we illustrate some initial ideas for how to execute user queries over our view ontology, without materializing it first.
A fundamental requirement for integrating neuroscience data is a well-structured ontology that can incorporate, accommodate and reconcile different neuroanatomical views. Here we describe the challenges in creating such ontology, and, because of its principled design, illustrate the potential of the Foundational Model of Anatomy to be that ontology.
Generating "views" over reference ontologies allows them to be customized for use within specific application contexts. In this project we investigated the operations necessary to generate one such custom ontology view. We catalogued the involved operations as a first step in defining the requirements of a formal view definition language.
The semantic web is envisioned as an evolving set of local ontologies that are gradually linked together into a global knowledge network. Many such local "application" ontologies are being built, but it is difficult to link them together because of incompatibilities and lack of adherence to ontology standards. "Reference" ontologies are an emerging ontology type that attempt to represent deep knowledge of basic science in a principled way that allows them to be re-used in multiple ways, just as the basic sciences are re-used in clinical applications. As such they have the potential to be a foundation for the semantic web if methods can be developed for deriving application ontologies from them. We describe a computational framework for this purpose that is generalized from the database concept of "views", and describe the research issues that must be solved to implement such a framework. We argue that the development of such a framework is becoming increasingly feasible due to a convergence of advances in several fields.
The integration of biomedical terminologies is indispensable to the process of information integration. When terminologies are linked merely through the alignment of their leaf terms, however, differences in context and ontological structure are ignored. Making use of the SNAP and SPAN ontologies, we show how three reference domain ontologies can be integrated at a higher level, through what we shall call the OBR framework (for: Ontology of Biomedical Reality). OBR is designed to facilitate inference across the boundaries of domain ontologies in anatomy, physiology and pathology.
- Feb 2005
Given two versions of a knowledge base (KB), independently modified, we investigated the problem of incorporating changes made to one KB version into the other. We have implemented a system that will perform such a reintegration, autonomously, using predetermined user preferences. This effort has lead to a greater insight into the version reintegration problem and has highlighted those areas where user intervention would be the most beneficial in a semi-autonomous system.
- Jan 2005
The Digital Anatomist Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA) is a large semantic network of more than 100,000 terms that refer to the anatomical entities, which together with 1.6 million structural relationships symbolically represent the physical organization of the human body. Evaluation of such a large knowledge base by domain experts is challenging because of the sheer size of the resource and the need to evaluate not just classes but also relationships. To meet this challenge, the authors have developed a relation-centric query interface, called Emily, that is able to query the entire range of classes and relationships in the FMA, yet is simple to use by a domain expert. Formative evaluation of this interface considered the ability of Emily to formulate queries based on standard anatomy examination questions, as well as the processing speed of the query engine. Results show that Emily is able to express 90% of the examination questions submitted to it and that processing time is generally 1 second or less, but can be much longer for complex queries. These results suggest that Emily will be a very useful tool, not only for evaluating the FMA, but also for querying and evaluating other large semantic networks.
The Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA), a detailed representation of the structural organization of the human body, was constructed to support the development of software applications requiring knowledge of anatomy. The FMA's focus on the structural relationships between anatomical entities distinguishes it from other current anatomical knowledge sources. We developed Emily, a query engine for the FMA, to enable users to explore the richness and depth of these relationships. Preliminary analysis suggests that Emily is capable of correctly processing real world anatomical queries provided they have been translated into a constrained form suitable for processing by the query engine.
A logical and principled representation of cell types and their component parts could serve as a framework for correlating the various ontologies that are emerging in bioinformatics with a focus on cells and subcellular biological entities. In order to address this need we have extended the Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA)1,2 from macroscopic to cellular and subcellular anatomical entities. The poster will provide a live demonstration of this implementation.
The University of Washington's Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA)1 is a complex, frame-based model composed of over 170,000 frames collectively specified by more than 1.4 million slot values. The Foundational Model Explorer (FME) was designed to provide simple and intuitive web access to this complex knowledge base. The Foundational Model Explorer (FME) (Figure 1) is built upon the Protégé 2000 knowledge base access library [http://protege.stanford.edu/]. The FME application, associated libraries, and the FMA database all reside on remote servers. Users of the FME are not required to download, install, or set-up any of these components. The FME application, in response to a query, retrieves the appropriate information from the FMA, formats these data into html documents, and transmits them, via the Internet, back to the client where they can be viewed from any standard web browser