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Towards Medical Knowmetrics: Representing and Computing Medical Knowledge using Semantic Predications as the Knowledge Unit and the Uncertainty as the Knowledge Context

by   Xiaoying Li, et al.

In China, Prof. Hongzhou Zhao and Zeyuan Liu are the pioneers of the concept "knowledge unit" and "knowmetrics" for measuring knowledge. However, the definition of "computable knowledge object" remains controversial so far in different fields. For example, it is defined as 1) quantitative scientific concept in natural science and engineering, 2) knowledge point in the field of education research, and 3) semantic predications, i.e., Subject-Predicate-Object (SPO) triples in biomedical fields. The Semantic MEDLINE Database (SemMedDB), a high-quality public repository of SPO triples extracted from medical literature, provides a basic data infrastructure for measuring medical knowledge. In general, the study of extracting SPO triples as computable knowledge unit from unstructured scientific text has been overwhelmingly focusing on scientific knowledge per se. Since the SPO triples would be possibly extracted from hypothetical, speculative statements or even conflicting and contradictory assertions, the knowledge status (i.e., the uncertainty), which serves as an integral and critical part of scientific knowledge has been largely overlooked. This article aims to put forward a framework for Medical Knowmetrics using the SPO triples as the knowledge unit and the uncertainty as the knowledge context. The lung cancer publications dataset is used to validate the proposed framework. The uncertainty of medical knowledge and how its status evolves over time indirectly reflect the strength of competing knowledge claims, and the probability of certainty for a given SPO triple. We try to discuss the new insights using the uncertainty-centric approaches to detect research fronts, and identify knowledge claims with high certainty level, in order to improve the efficacy of knowledge-driven decision support.


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