The Ontology of Medical Terminological Systems: Towards the Next Generation of Medical Ontologies

  • Heinrich Herre


Integrating, processing and applying the rapidly expanding information generated in medicine, bio-medicine and biology is one of most challenging problems facing research in these fields today. As the volumes of experimental data and knowledge increases, there is a growing need for supporting formal analyses of these data and pre-processing knowledge for further use in solving problems and stating hypotheses. Achieving these goals requires the precise and formal characterization of biological and biomedical data and knowledge, as well as their correct representation in computational form. This chapter presents a critical analysis of the current situation, particularly with regard to the significance of logic, artificial intelligence and philosophy for ontology research. in the area of medical ontologies. A broader framework is needed to analyze and represent the relevant phenomena occurring in the field of terminologies and ontologies. This framework should be based on logic, artificial intelligence, linguistics and philosophy. Logic contributes to a rigorous formalization of biomedical content, linguistics plays a role in the analysis of natural languages texts, artificial intelligence is relevant for knowledge representation, inference procedures and integration methods, and, finally, philosophical ontology provides a framework for the categorization of the world.


Intracranial Injury Classification Principle Terminological System Intestinal Infectious Disease Elementary Category 
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.



Many thanks to Frank Loebe, Robert Hoehndorf, Roberto Poli, Josef Ingenerf, Janet Kelso, Jörg Niggemann, Matthew West, and anonymous reviewers for their critical remarks that contribute to the quality of the paper. I am grateful to Dayana Goldstein for her attentive reading which led to an improvement of the text. Many thanks to Christine Green for her help in preparing the English manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Group Onto-MedIMISE, University LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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