462278 An Ontology-Driven Knowledge Management Framework for Public Health

Wednesday, November 16, 2016: 10:43 AM
Monterey II (Hotel Nikko San Francisco)
Zhizun Zhang1, Mila Gonzalez2 and Venkat Venkatasubramanian1, (1)Department of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, (2)Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY

Global public health events such as the 2014 Ebola outbreak raises concerns about Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) preparedness and the effectiveness of the response across the world. EIDs preparedness and response require public health coordination and communication, which face the challenge of knowledge sharing and reuse. While many studies have been done on public health surveillance or meta-knowledge analysis, limited progress has been made in knowledge management of public health documents. The complexity of public health knowledge is the major barrier. Similar information management problem has been studied in chemical engineering and biological science for years. Engineers and scientists address this problem by designing an ontology that facilitates knowledge management.

In this work, we propose a systems engineering inspired Ontology-driven Knowledge Management approach. This approach decomposes public health knowledge into concepts and relations and stores them in a function-based manner in an ontology. Semantic rules enable knowledge retrieval with respect to users’ queries. This novel approach takes a systems engineering perspective to manage public health knowledge. The function-based knowledge representation reduces the hierarchical complexity as well as the heterogeneity of public health knowledge. A West Nile Virus (WNV) outbreak scenario has been studied, and the reasoning results are compared with lessons learned from 1999 WNV outbreak in New York City. The comparison demonstrates the capability of this approach.

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