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GRAIL Tutorial

This tutorial is an adaptation (by Egbert van der Haring) of the GRAIL Tutorial written by Danny Solomon and Jeremy Rogers, University of Manchester in October 1997, during the GALEN project.

GRAIL is a concept modelling language that has been developed and used by the GALEN projects to represent medical terminology. It has also been used to model other domains. GRAIL stands for the GALEN Representation and Integration Language.

What this tutorial is

This tutorial is designed to introduce the GRAIL language itself: it is not an introduction to the clinical models that have been developed using that language. A conscious decision was made not to use medicine in the examples, in an attempt to restrict the areas of discussion! Further information is available to introduce the way GRAIL has been used to represent clinical terminology in the GALEN projects.

What this tutorial isn’t

This document is not an attempt to integrate all existing documentation into a handy pocket-sized edition and this document won’t tell you in detail which mouse button to use for any but the basic functions - further documentation is available which describe the modelling environments in detail, and this will be needed if further modelling is to be undertaken.

This document is also not a tutorial in the GALEN ontology and how we use GRAIL, in detail, in GALEN. This is covered separately. It also does not cover the associated facilities for natural language handling, handling coding systems, and the use of GRAIL for indexing knowledge bases.

This tutorial is to get you started. There’s lots more, but this needs to be mastered first.

Structure of this tutorial

A brief history
What is a terminological model?
An Interactive Introduction to GCE
An Introductory GRAIL tutorial
Using GRAIL well: A tutorial in basic GRAIL style
Refinement and Transitivity: What makes GRAIL different
Other Features
Glossary

There are some sections in the tutorial specifically aimed at those with experience of other systems - description logics, conceptual graphs, or object oriented design environments. These side-bars are marked optional and distinguished in the text. They are not needed to understand GRAIL, but may be useful to those coming to GRAIL from related environments to help them understand the similarities and differences between GRAIL and systems with which they are familiar.

An important thing to keep in mind is that modelling in and using GRAIL can only really be learnt through a hands on approach. Follow the examples, but experiment on your own at any time.

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