Processes and Problems in the Formative Evaluation of an Interface to the Foundational Model of Anatomy Knowledge Base

Shapiro, Linda G.; Chung, Emily; Detwiler, Landon T.; Mejino Jr., José l. V.; Agoncillo, Augusto V.; Brinkley, James F.; Rosse, Cornelius
January 2005
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association;Jan/Feb2005, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p35
Academic Journal
The Digital Anatomist Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA) is a large semantic network of more than 100,000 terms that refer to the anatomical entities, which together with 1.6 million structural relationships symbolically represent the physical organization of the human body. Evaluation of such a large knowledge base by domain experts is challenging because of the sheer size of the resource and the need to evaluate not just classes but also relationships. To meet this challenge, the authors have developed a relation-centric query interface, called Emily, that is able to query the entire range of classes and relationships in the FMA, yet is simple to use by a domain expert. Formative evaluation of this interface considered the ability of Emily to formulate queries based on standard anatomy examination questions, as well as the processing speed of the query engine. Results show that Emily is able to express 90% of the examination questions submitted to it and that processing time is generally 1 second or less, but can be much longer for complex queries. These results suggest that Emily will be a very useful tool, not only for evaluating the FMA, but also for querying and evaluating other large semantic networks.


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