Report Number: CS-TR-97-1596
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: Distributed Development of a Logic-Based Controlled Medical Terminology
Author: Campbell, Keith Eugene
Date: October 1997
Abstract: A controlled medical terminology (CMT) encodes clinical data: patient's physical signs, symptoms, and diagnoses. Application developers lack a robust CMT and the methodologies needed to coordinate terminology development within and between projects. In this dissertation, I argue that if a formal terminology model is adopted and integrated into a change-management process that supports dynamic CMTs, then CMTs can evolve from being an impediment to application development and data analysis to a valuable resource. My thesis states that such an evolutionary approach can be supported by using semantics-based methods for managing concurrent terminology development, thereby bypassing the disadvantages of traditional lock-based approaches common in database systems. By allowing developers to work concurrently on the terminology while relying on semantics-based methods to resolve the "collisions" that are inevitable in concurrent work, a scalable approach to terminology development can be supported. This dissertation discusses CMT development in terms of three research topics: 1. Representation of Clinical Data 2. Concurrency Control 3. Configuration Management