Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1997

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science - (M.S.)


Computer and Information Science

First Advisor

Yehoshua Perl

Second Advisor

James Geller

Third Advisor

Michael Halper


Computers have become ubiquitous and indispensable part of everyday life both for personal use and in the workplace. Medicine is one of the few domains that has not fully adopted computerization. One impediment to this emanates from a communication gap between the computer science professional and the medical professional. Besides, medical terminology is full of synonyms and medical professionals use them according to their personal preferences. This lack of common terminology has prevented sharing of knowledge and automating data processing, resulting in the healthcare information explosion.

Semantic network models have been developed to represent medical concepts and to provide a common repository of medical terms. These networks are huge collections of terms and deal with the concepts individually. The semantic models, however, have not resolved management and comprehension difficulties associated with large number of terms and their complex semantics.

Object-Oriented modeling, as demonstrated in this thesis, provides a mature technology to model complex concepts for a computerized medical vocabulary. Object class abstraction, that represents objects in the same context, promises to solve the comprehension and management problems. Such a vocabulary would facilitate exchange of information, data processing and building decision support systems.



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