Analyzing Clinical Practice Guidelines Using a Decidable Metric Interval-Based Temporal Logic

  • Morteza Yousef Sanati
  • Wendy MacCaull
  • Thomas S. E. Maibaum
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8442)


A Clinical Practice Guideline defines best practices to be followed by clinicians to manage a particular disease. Checking the quality of such guidelines is a very important issue, e.g., designers of the guidelines should ensure their consistency. A formal modelling approach is an appropriate choice due to the complexity of these guidelines. In this paper, we develop a metric interval-based temporal logic, which is suitable for such modelling and then propose a method for checking the satisfiability of such guidelines, to assure their consistency. As a case study, we use the logic to model a real-life guideline, the Active Tuberculosis Diagnosis guideline.


Clinical Practice Guidelines Metric interval-based temporal logic Tableau-based satisfiability checking Guideline modelling 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Sciavicco, G., Juarez, J.M., Campos, M.: Quality checking of medical guidelines using interval temporal logics: A case-study. In: Mira, J., Ferrández, J.M., Álvarez, J.R., de la Paz, F., Toledo, F.J. (eds.) IWINAC 2009, Part II. LNCS, vol. 5602, pp. 158–167. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    de Clercq, P.A., Blom, J.A., Korsten, J.H.M., Hasman, A.: Approaches for creating computer-interpretable guidelines that facilitate decision support. Artificial Intelligence in Medicine 31, 1–27 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tu, S.W., Musen, M.A.: A flexible approach to guideline modelling. In: Proc. AMIA Symp., p. 420 (1999)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Damas, C., Lambeau, B., van Lamsweerde, A.: Transformation operators for easier engineering of medical process models. In: 5th International Workshop on Software Engineering in Health Care (SEHC), pp. 39–45. IEEE Press (2013)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Christov, S., Chen, B., Avrunin, G.S., Clarke, L.A., Osterweil, L.J., Brown, D., Cassells, L., Mertens, W.: Formally defining medical processes. Methods of Information in Medicine 47(5), 392 (2008)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lucas, P.: Quality checking of medical guidelines through logical abduction. In: Coenen, F., Preece, A., Macintosh, A. (eds.) Research and Development in Intelligent Systems XX, pp. 309–321. Springer, London (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hommersom, A., Lucas, P., Balser, M.: Meta-level verification of the quality of medical guidelines using interactive theorem proving. In: Alferes, J.J., Leite, J. (eds.) JELIA 2004. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3229, pp. 654–666. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Goranko, V., Montanari, A., Sciavicco, G.: Propositional interval neighbourhood temporal logics. J. UCS 9(9), 1137–1167 (2003)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bresolin, D., Della Monica, D., Goranko, V., Montanari, A., Sciavicco, G.: Decidable and undecidable fragments of halpern and shoham’s interval temporal logic: Towards a complete classification. In: Cervesato, I., Veith, H., Voronkov, A. (eds.) LPAR 2008. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 5330, pp. 590–604. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
    Halpern, J.Y., Shoham, Y.: A Propositional Modal Logic of Time Intervals. J. of the ACM 38(4), 935–962 (1991)CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Allen, J.F.: Maintaining knowledge about temporal intervals. Communications of the ACM 26(11), 832–843 (1983)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Goranko, V., Montanari, S., Sciavicco, G., Bresolin, D., Della Monica, D.: Metric propositional neighbourhood logics. Technical report, European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI) (2010)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Goranko, V., Montanari, A., Sala, P., Sciavicco, G.: A general tableau method for propositional interval temporal logics: Theory and implementation. J. of Applied Logic 4(3), 305–330 (2006)CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Toward Optimized Practice - Alberta: Active tuberculosis: Diagnosis and management guideline (2011)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Yousef Sanati, M., MacCaull, W., Maibaum, T.S.E.: Analyzing Clinical Practice Guidelines Using a Decidable Metric Interval-based Temporal Logic. Technical report, McMaster Centre for Software Certification, McMaster University (2014)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morteza Yousef Sanati
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wendy MacCaull
    • 3
  • Thomas S. E. Maibaum
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computing and SoftwareMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceBu-Ali Sina UniversityHamedanIran
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer ScienceSt. Francis Xavier UniversityAntigonishCanada

Personalised recommendations