Ontological Principles Applied to Biomedical Vocabularies


Recently, ontological principles have been applied to numerous biomedical vocabularies, with the intention to identify mistakes and poor modelling decisions. No doubt, such applications are useful and necessary for terminological,systems ,like SNOMED CT based ,on an ,axiomatic ,logical formalism. In the following review, ontology is dealt with by focussing on particularly two ,aspects: the problem ,of ISA-overloading and ,the intrusion of epistemology,in bio-medical vocabularies. Both the aspects are considered ,with respect to terminological systems, thesauri, and statistical classifications.Generally evaluating, the two latter ones are taken into account for not conforming to ontological principles. However, this is mainly caused by an undifferentiated application of ontological ,principles equally ,on all ,kinds ,of biomedical vocabularies. Opposed to terminological systems, the purpose-specific organizations of descriptors in thesauri and the,classes in statistical classifications are given consideration on an extra-aggregation level. Amazingly, in both domains, rather similar initiatives link both the extra level and an added intermediate concept level. Such an approach,proved beneficial in lending an appropriate,expression to the seemingly ambiguous,phraseology. , The rigorous application of ontological ,principles to terminological systems ,like SNOMED CT including the consequent elimination of epistemology-loaded terms will end up in an increased,mismatch,with statistical classifications like ICD. The latter ones are intrinsically tied to epistemology (What is known ,or written?) instead of ontology (What exists in reality?). Consequently, this influences the feasibility of mappings from terminologies to classifications. Keywords: Terminological System, Ontology, Epistemology, Thesaurus, Statistical Classification
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventProceedings of the European Federation for Medical Informatics Special Topic Conference 2006
- Timisoara, Romania
Duration: 06.04.200608.04.2006


ConferenceProceedings of the European Federation for Medical Informatics Special Topic Conference 2006


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