Referent tracking and its applications

In Proceedings of the Workshop WWW2007 Workshop i3: Identity, Identifiers, Identification (Workshop on Entity-Centric Approaches to Information and Knowledge Management on the Web), Banff, Canada. CEUR (2007)
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Referent tracking (RT) is a new paradigm, based on unique identification, for representing and keeping track of particulars. It was first introduced to support the entry and retrieval of data in electronic health records (EHRs). Its purpose is to avoid the ambiguity that arises when statements in an EHR refer to disorders or other entities on the side of the patient exclusively by means of compound descriptions utilizing general terms such as ‘pimple on nose’ or ‘small left breast tumor’. In this paper, we describe the theoretical foundations of this paradigm and show how it is being applied to the solution of analogous problems of ambiguous identification in the fields of digital rights management, corporate memories and decision algorithms.

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Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo


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