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CBMS 2011 - the 24th International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems
June 27th - 30th, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK

Ontologies in Biomedical Informatics

  • Sonja Zillner, Siemens, Germany
  • Daniel Sonntag, German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)
  • Kamran Munir, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK

For more details and materials, see http://www.dfki.de/RadSpeech/CBMS_2011_Ontology_Tutorial.html

Knowledge management often relies on primitive data structures and the application of tools for such data sources. The term “knowledge base” is often understood to mean assets that do not contain richer representation formats and formalism. We will introduce ontologies as a rich knowledge representation format and show how they can be used in knowledge-intensive medical applications. In order to write any research or academic work, you need to have a large database of information or analyze a large number of literary sources. Such a process requires a lot of time and knowledge, so students are often recommended to use the help of an annotated bibliography writing service.


This lecture offers a synthesis of relevant artificial intelligence research in medical ontologies and their applications to information retrieval and semantic search. Application areas are healthcare information systems, clinical practices, and standardised medical technologies for diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis.


esearchers and students from medicine and computer science who want to use ontologies in their workflows and computer applications.


Discuss, with reference to concrete examples of the THESEUS MEDICO and Health-e-Child projects, several types of medical ontologies, application scenarios, and ways to acquire new ontological knowledge.

Learn how to go beyond current medical knowledge management practice by applying relevant ontology concepts and insights from ontology research on strategies for creating knowledge-intensive medical applications.

Take away supplementary materials that expand on the discussion in the lecture and help you to apply its analytical framework in your own research on ontology-based medical systems.


Introduction (Daniel)

  • What are ontologies?
  • Which ontologies exist in the medical domain?
  • In which tasks can medical ontologies be (re-)used?

Challenges and opportunities of using medical ontologies (Sonja)

  • Ontology Selection
  • Semantic Annotation
  • Ontology Mapping and Reasoning

Using ontologies in exemplary medical knowledge retrieval systems (Kamran)

  • Ontologies and Database Query Formulation
  • Example Case Study from the Health-e-Child Project

Ontology Acquisition (Daniel)

  • Automatic Acquisition
  • Manual Acquisition
  • Semi-Automatic Acquisition


Other Tutorials & Workshops

Event Sponsors

IEEE   The British Computer Society (BCS), Bristol Branch   Association for Computing Machinery   University of the West of England, Bristol