Designing metaschemas for the UMLS enriched semantic network

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The enriched semantic network (ESN) has previously been presented as an enhancement of the semantic network (SN) of the UMLS. The ESN's hierarchy is a DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) structure allowing for multiple parents. The ESN is thus more complex than the SN and can be more difficult to view and comprehend. We have previously introduced the notion of a metaschema for the SN as a compact abstraction to support SN comprehension. We extend the definition of metaschema to make it applicable to a DAG classification hierarchy, such as the one exhibited by the ESN. We specify the requirements for and describe the general process of deriving such a metaschema. We derive two particular metaschemas of the ESN based on a pair of partitions. These two metaschemas and their underlying partitions are compared. Both metaschemas serve as compact representations of the ESN, allowing for convenient viewing of its hierarchy and easier comprehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-449
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Enriched semantic network
  • Metaschema
  • Multiple inheritance
  • Partition
  • UMLS
  • Visualization


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