Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2022, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (3): 228-233.doi: 10.24920/004151

• Scientific Data Sharing and Reuse:Perspective • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Domain Ontology: Current Status and Rethinking for the Future Development

Yan Zhu1, Keyu Yao1, Suyuan Peng2, 3, Xiaolin Yang4, *()   

  1. 1Institute of Information on Traditional Chinese Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
    2National Institute of Health Data Science, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China
    3School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China
    4Institute of Basic Medical Sciences Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, School of Basic Medicine, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100005, China
  • Received:2022-08-04 Accepted:2022-09-14 Published:2022-09-30 Online:2022-09-26
  • Contact: Xiaolin Yang

The past twenty years have seen the increasingly important role of ontology in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). However, the development of TCM ontology faces many challenges. Since the epistemologies dramatically differ between TCM and contemporary biomedicine, it is hard to apply the existing top-level ontology mechanically. “Data silos” are widely present in the currently available terminology standards, term sets, and ontologies. The formal representation of ontology needs to be further improved in TCM. Therefore, we propose a unified basic semantic framework of TCM based on in-depth theoretical research on the existing top-level ontology and a re-study of important concepts in TCM. Under such a framework, ontologies in TCM sub-domains should be built collaboratively and be represented formally in a common format. Besides, extensive cooperation should be encouraged by establishing ontology research communities to promote ontology peer review and reuse.

Key words: ontology, traditional Chinese medicine, top-level ontology, domain ontology, semantic standard


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