From informal knowledge to formal logic: A realistic case study in medical protocols

Mar Marcos, Michael Balser, Annette Ten Teije, Frank van Harmelen

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


We report our experience in a case study with constructing fully formalised knowledge models of realistic, specialised medical knowledge. We have taken a medical protocol in daily use by medical specialists, modelled this knowledge in a specific-purpose knowledge representation language, and finally formalised this knowledge representation in terms of temporal logic and parallel programs. The value of this formalisation process is that each successive formalisation step has contributed to improving the quality of the original medical protocol, and that the final formalisation allows us to provide machine-assisted proofs of properties that are satisfied by the original medical protocol (or, alternatively, precise arguments why the original protocol fails to satisfy certain desirable properties). We believe that this the first time that a significant body of medical knowledge (in our case: a protocol for the management of jaundice in newborns) has been formalised to the extent that it becomes amenable to automated theorem proving, and that this has actually lead to improvement of the original body of medical knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management: Ontologies and the Semantic Web - 13th International Conference, EKAW 2002, Proceedings
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)3540442685, 9783540442684
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Event13th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management, EKAW 2002 - Siguenza, Spain
Duration: 1 Oct 20024 Oct 2002

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)03029743
ISSN (Electronic)16113349


Conference13th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management, EKAW 2002

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