Rule-Based Formalization of Eligibility Criteria for Clinical Trials

  • Zhisheng Huang
  • Annette ten Teije
  • Frank van Harmelen
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7885)


In this paper, we propose a rule-based formalization of eligibility criteria for clinical trials. The rule-based formalization is implemented by using the logic programming language Prolog. Compared with existing formalizations such as pattern-based and script-based languages, the rule-based formalization has the advantages of being declarative, expressive, reusable and easy to maintain. Our rule-based formalization is based on a general framework for eligibility criteria containing three types of knowledge: (1) trial-specific knowledge, (2) domain-specific knowledge and (3) common knowledge. This framework enables the reuse of several parts of the formalization of eligibility criteria. We have implemented the proposed rule-based formalization in SemanticCT, a semantically-enabled system for clinical trials, showing the feasibility of using our rule-based formalization of eligibility criteria for supporting patient recruitment in clinical trial systems.


Eligibility Criterion Invasive Lobular Carcinoma SPARQL Query Temporal Reasoning Trial Feasibility 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhisheng Huang
    • 1
  • Annette ten Teije
    • 1
  • Frank van Harmelen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceVU University AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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