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Pushing the Envelope: Challenges in a Frame-Based Representation of Human Anatomy

Noy, N. F. and Musen, M. A. and Mejino, Jose L V and Rosse, Cornelius (2004) Pushing the Envelope: Challenges in a Frame-Based Representation of Human Anatomy. Data and Knowledge Engineering 48:pp. 335-359.

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One of the main threads in the history of knowledge-representation formalisms is the trade-off between the expressiveness of first-order logic on the one hand and the tractability and ease-of-use of frame-based systems on the other hand. Frame-based systems provide intuitive, cognitively easy-to-understand, and scalable means for modeling a domain. However, when a domain model is particularly complex, framebased representation may lead to complicated and sometimes awkward solutions. We have encountered such problems when developing the Digital Anatomist Foundational Model, an ontology aimed at representing comprehensively the physical organization of the human body. We show that traditional frame-based techniques such as is-a hierarchies, slots (roles) and role restrictions are not sufficient for a comprehensive model of this domain. The diverse modeling challenges and problems in this project required us to use such knowledge-representation techniques as reified relations, metaclasses and a metaclass hierarchy, different propagation patterns for template and own slots, and so on. We posit that even though the modeling structure imposed by frame-based systems may sometimes lead to complicated solutions, it is still worthwhile to use frame-based representation for very large-scale projects such as this one.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Projects:Foundational Model of Anatomy
Subjects:SIG Publications
ID Code:122
Deposited By:Hinshaw, Kevin
Deposited On:14 May 2003
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