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An overview of the ONIONS project: Applying ontologies in the integration of medical terminologies. (English) Zbl 1047.68596
Summary: The paper presents a review of the ONIONS project. ONIONS is committed to developing a large-scale, axiomatized ontology library for medical terminology. The developed methodology exploits a description logic-based design for the modules in the library and makes extended use of generic theories, thus creating a stratification of the modules. Terminological knowledge is acquired by conceptual analysis and ontology integration over a set of authoritative sources. After addressing general issues about conceptual analysis and integration, the methodology is briefly described. The central part of the paper presents the investigation we have made on the 476,000 medical concepts singled out by the National Library of Medicine as the Metathesaurus\({}^{\text{TM}}\) in the UMLS project. This is followed by several case studies concerning lexical polysemy, the interface between ontologies. A section describing the current structure of the library and the generic theories reused is provided. Current results of our research include the integration of some top-level ontologies in the \(ON9.2\) ontology library, and the formalization of the terminological knowledge in the UMLS Metathesaurus.

MSC:
68P20 Information storage and retrieval of data
68U99 Computing methodologies and applications
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