Ontologies, Disorders and Prototypes

In Proceedings of IACAP 2016 (2016)
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Abstract
As it emerged from philosophical analyses and cognitive research, most concepts exhibit typicality effects, and resist to the efforts of defining them in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. This holds also in the case of many medical concepts. This is a problem for the design of computer science ontologies, since knowledge representation formalisms commonly adopted in this field (such as, in the first place, the Web Ontology Language - OWL) do not allow for the representation of concepts in terms of typical traits. The need of representing concepts in terms of typical traits concerns almost every domain of real world knowledge, including medical domains. In particular, in this article we take into account the domain of mental disorders, starting from the DSM-5 descriptions of some specific disorders. We favour a hybrid approach to concept representation, in which ontology oriented formalisms are combined to a geometric representation of knowledge based on conceptual space. As a preliminary step to apply our proposal to mental disorder concepts, we started to develop an OWL ontology of the schizophrenia spectrum, which is as close as possible to the DSM-5 descriptions.
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