Ontology-based knowledge representation of experiment metadata in biological data mining

In Jake Chen & Stefano Lonardi (eds.), Biological Data Mining. Boca Raton: Chapman Hall / Taylor and Francis. pp. 529-559 (2009)
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According to the PubMed resource from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, over 750,000 scientific articles have been published in the ~5000 biomedical journals worldwide in the year 2007 alone. The vast majority of these publications include results from hypothesis-driven experimentation in overlapping biomedical research domains. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of information being generated by the biomedical research enterprise has made it virtually impossible for investigators to stay aware of the latest findings in their domain of interest, let alone to be able to assimilate and mine data from related investigations for purposes of meta-analysis. While computers have the potential for assisting investigators in the extraction, management and analysis of these data, information contained in the traditional journal publication is still largely unstructured, free-text descriptions of study design, experimental application and results interpretation, making it difficult for computers to gain access to the content of what is being conveyed without significant manual intervention. In order to circumvent these roadblocks and make the most of the output from the biomedical research enterprise, a variety of related standards in knowledge representation are being developed, proposed and adopted in the biomedical community. In this chapter, we will explore the current status of efforts to develop minimum information standards for the representation of a biomedical experiment, ontologies composed of shared vocabularies assembled into subsumption hierarchical structures, and extensible relational data models that link the information components together in a machine-readable and human-useable framework for data mining purposes.

Author's Profile

Barry Smith
University at Buffalo


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