Intelligent Autonomous Systems 13 pp 1095-1105
Hierarchical Task Networks as Domain-Specific Language for Planning Surgical Interventions
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The following paper addresses the challenges of defining surgical workflows. Surgical workflows have to deal with medical and technical aspects on different levels of abstraction in order to ensure safety. We propose hierarchical task networks (HTN) as a unifying domain-specific language (DSL) for the definition of surgical workflows. The DSL describes relations and dependencies in state sequences and surgical actions for complex workflows on varying levels of detail. With an HTN planner we are able to decompose high-level steps into primitive actions and identify all possible workflows together with their paths through the intervention. This information can be used to identify missing or inaccurate information in literature and consequently improve the workflow and safety of the surgical intervention. By means of a case study we present a detailed HTN-based DSL for Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy to show the advantage of using our particular approach to workflow modeling.