On the Ontology of a Decision Support System in Health Informatics

On the Ontology of a Decision Support System in Health Informatics

Pirkko Nykanen (National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-045-5.ch008
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Abstract

A decision support system can be approached from two major disciplinary perspectives, those of information systems science (ISS) and artificial intelligence (AI). We present in this chapter an extended ontology for a decision support system in health informatics. The extended ontology is founded on related research in ISS and AI and on performed case studies in health informatics. The ontology explicates relevant constructs and presents a vocabulary for a decision support system, and emphasises the need to cover environmental and contextual variables as an integral part of decision support system development and evaluation methodologies. These results help the system developers to take the system’s context into account through the set of defined variables that are linked to the application domain. This implies that domain and application characteristics, as well as knowledge creation and sharing aspects, are considered at every phase of development. With these extensions the focus in decision support systems development shifts from a task ontology towards a domain ontology. This extended ontology gives better support for development because from it follows that a more thorough problem analysis will be performed.

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