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Terminologia Anatomica; Considered from the Perspective of Next-Generation Knowledge Sources

Rosse, Cornelius (2000) Terminologia Anatomica; Considered from the Perspective of Next-Generation Knowledge Sources. Clinical Anatomy 14:pp. 120-133.

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Abstract

This report examines the semantic structure of Terminologia Anatomica, taking one randomly selected page as an example. The focus of analysis is the meaning imparted to an anatomical term by virtue of its location within the structured list. Terminologia’s structure expressed through hierarchies of headings, varied typographical styles, indentations and an alphanumeric code implies specific relationships between the terms embedded in the list. Together, terms and relationships can potentially capture essential elements of anatomical knowledge. The analysis focuses on these knowledge elements and evaluates the consistency and logic in their representation. Most critical of these elements are class inclusion and part-whole relationships, which are implied, rather than explicitly modeled by Terminologia. This limits the use of the term list to those who have some knowledge of anatomy and excludes computer programs from navigating through the terminology. Assuring consistency in the explicit representation of anatomical relationships would facilitate adoption of Terminologia as the anatomical standard by the various controlled medical terminology (CMT) projects. These projects are motivated by the need for computerizing the patient record, and their aim is to generate machineunderstandable representations of biomedical concepts, including anatomy. Because of the lack of a consistent and explicit representation of anatomy, each of these CMTs has generated it own anatomy model. None of these models is compatible with each other, yet each is consistent with textbook descriptions of anatomy. The analysis of the semantic structure of Terminologia Anatomica leads to some suggestions for enhancing the term list in ways that would facilitate its adoption as the standard for anatomical knowledge representation in biomedical informatics.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:anatomy, knowledge representation, controlled vocabularies, da99, anatomy terminology, sig
Projects:Foundational Model of Anatomy
Subjects:SIG Publications
ID Code:93
Deposited By:Hinshaw, Kevin
Deposited On:01 May 2003