The role of Time in Medicine

  • Carlo Combi
  • Elpida Keravnou-Papailiou
  • Yuval Shahar


Medical tasks, such as diagnosis and therapy, are by nature complex and not easily amenable to formal approaches. The philosophical question “Is medicine science or art?” is frequently posed to show that expert clinicians often reach correct decisions on the basis of intuition and hindsight rather than scientific facts [22]. Medical knowledge is inherently uncertain and incomplete. Likewise, patient data are often ridden with uncertainty and imprecision, showing serious gaps. In addition, they could be too voluminous and at a level of detail that would prevent direct reasoning by a human mind. The computer-based performance of medical tasks poses many challenges. As such, it is not surprising that AI researchers were intrigued with the automation of medical problem solving from the early days of AI. The technology of expert systems is largely founded on attempts to automate medical expert diagnostic reasoning. For example, most people are familiar with the Stanford experiments of the Heuristic Programming Project resulting in the MYCIN family of rule-based systems [140].


Information Communication Technology Temporal Reasoning Medical Information System Temporal Database Temporal Abstraction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlo Combi
    • 1
  • Elpida Keravnou-Papailiou
    • 2
  • Yuval Shahar
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CyprusNicosiaCyprus
  3. 3.Medical Informatics Research Center Department of Information Systems EngineeringBen Gurion UniversityBeer ShevaIsrael

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