Intermediate Representation Tutorial
The advantages of the OpenGALEN Intermediate Representation are:
- (semi-)controlled vocabulary (Authoring Terminology), whose coverage is engineered to be just sufficient to support work in a particular subdomain.
- multiple Authoring Terminologies specific to a subdomain.
- independant of Target Terminology, ie Intermediate Representation expressions (dissections) can be transformed into concepts in any Target Terminology (e.g. into GALEN or SNOMED CT concepts).
- a small number of concepts (called descriptors) - curated to be only the set of concepts actually used by a group of people working in a single circumscribed domain, at the very most 5000 relatively elementary terms.
- simple syntax, no brackets, no keywords, easy to read.
- a simple hierarchy of descriptors (for term finding only).
- a small number of relationships (links) allowed between descriptors.
- simple rules for when concepts may be linked (postcoordinated) with each other.
- reductions in training time for authors.
As an example, here is the dissection for Gastroscopy:
The advantages to the user of this approach are:
- most of what you see is useful in your particular subdomain.
- concepts and links are easy to find.
- it is obvious how concepts might be combined.
- your dissections can be transformed to different Target Terminologies.
- better interfaces can be built to support the user.
The original reason for the development of the Intermediate Representation in the GALEN Programme is described here.