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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

First Public Draft: Health Care and Life Sciences (HCLS) Knowledgebase

Members of the W3C Semantic Web in Health Care and Life Sciences
Interest Group (HCLS) have released a First Working Draft for a "HCLS
Knowledgebase" specification. This document is one of two initial WDs.
The HCLS Knowledgebase (HCLS-KB) is a biomedical knowledge base that
integrates 15 distinct data sources using currently available Semantic
Web Technologies such as the W3C standard Web Ontology Language (OWL)
and Resource Description Framework (RDF). This report outlines which
resources were integrated, how the KB was constructed using freely
available triple store technology, how it can be queried using the W3C
Recommended RDF query language SPARQL, and what resources and inferences
are involved in answering complex queries. While the utility of the KB
is illustrated by identifying a set of genes involved in Alzheimer's
Disease, the approach described here can be applied to any use case
that integrates data from multiple domains. A second document
"Experiences with the Conversion of SenseLab databases to RDF/OWL"
shares implementation experience of the Yale Center for Medical
Informatics: "One of the challenges facing Semantic Web for Health
Care and Life Sciences is that of converting relational databases
into Semantic Web format. The issues and the steps involved in such
a conversion have not been well documented. To this end, we have
created this document to describe the process of converting SenseLab
databases into OWL. SenseLab is a collection of relational (Oracle)
databases for neuroscientific research. The conversion of these
databases into RDF/OWL format is an important step towards realizing
the benefits of Semantic Web in integrative neuroscience research.
This document describes how we represented some of the SenseLab
databases in Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Web Ontology
Language (OWL), and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of
these representations. Our OWL representation is based on the reuse
of existing standard OWL ontologies developed in the biomedical
ontology communities." The mission of the W3C Health Care and Life
Sciences (HCLS) Interest Group is to show how to use Semantic Web
technology to answer cross-disciplinary questions in life science that
have, until now, been prohibitively difficult to research. The
success of the group continues to draw industry interest. W3C Members
are currently reviewing a draft charter that would enable the renewed
HCLS Interest Group to develop and support use cases that have clear
scientific, business and/or technical value, using Semantic Web
technologies in three areas: life science, translational medicine,
and health care. W3C invites Members to review the draft charter
(which is public during the review), and encourages those who are
interested in using the Semantic Web to solve knowledge representation
and integration on a large scale to join the Interest Group.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Certainly an exciting development. Wish the effort all success.