A Method for Automatic Transformation of Structured Guideline Components into Formal Process-Representations

Team 

Kathi Kaiser, Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, Vienna, Austria
Silvia Miksch, Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, Vienna, Austria

Contact Person  Kathi Kaiser
 
Project 

Guideline and protocol representation languages have reached a level of complexity where auxiliary methods are needed to support the authoring of protocols in the particular language. Several approaches and methods exist that claim high knowledge about both the medical context and the formal requirements. Therefore, we need knowledge-based methods to facilitate the human plan designer and create the protocols of the particular language as automated as possible.

TimeWrap is a three-step wrapper method to extract information, in particular temporal issues, out of semi-structured data and integrate it in a formal representation. Figure 1 presents the underlying idea of TimeWrap.

Figure 1: Idea of the method for creating a formal representation of clinical protocols.

 
  1. Structuring information and representing it in a formal base representation

  2. Extracting information out of the base representation

  3. Integrating the extracted information into a formal intermediate representation that is the origin for the transformation into the final representation (e.g., Asbru). This intermediate representation can handle temporal uncertainties and other demands that are required for planning.

The TimeWrap method supports the extraction of time-referenced data of a simple or cyclical process from particular data and out of it the planning process representation can be created. These processes are first represented in an 'intermediate representation' and afterwards transformed into a formal language, for instance Asbru.

Thereby, both the often recurring processing of specifications for drug administration and the troublesome generation of Asbru plans can be prevented. Asbru is a very complex language and not easy to code. Tools that would assist in the process could be very useful. Thus, the knowledge-intensive task of the human plan editor is machine supported, but also the amount of time the process takes can be decreased. By means of the intermediate representation the flows of the clinical protocols can be better structured and presented in a concise form. The intermediate representation can be used to automatic transform them by defined rules to the final representation Asbru.

Papers 

Kaiser, Katharina; Miksch, Silvia: TimeWrap - A Method for Automatic Transformation of Structured Guideline Components into Formal Process-Representations, in K. Kaiser, S. Miksch, and S. W. Tu (eds.) Proceedings of the Symposium on Computerized Guidelines and Protocols (CGP 2004), vol. 101 Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, IOS Press, pp. 61-74, 2004.

Related Work 
  • HTMLWrapper by Peter Wagner
  • DeTable by Günther Sommer

 
Funding 

This project is supported by "Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung FWF" (Austrian Science Fund), grant P15467-INF.