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Exploring Semantic Groups Through Visual Approaches

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Bodenreider O, McCray AT
J Biomed Inform. 2003 Dec;36(6):414-432.

Objectives - We investigate several visual approaches for exploring semantic groups, a grouping of semantic types from the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) semantic network. We are particularly interested in the semantic coherence of the groups, and we use the semantic relationships as important indicators of that coherence. Methods - First, we create a radial representation of the number of relationships among the groups, generating a profile for each semantic group. Second, we show that, in our partition, the relationships are organized around a limited number of pivot groups and that partitions created at random do not exhibit this property. Finally, we use correspondence analysis to visualize groupings resulting from the association between semantic types and the relationships. Results - The three approaches provide different views on the semantic groups and help detect potential inconsistencies. They make outliers immediately apparent, and, thus, serve as a tool for auditing and validating both the semantic network and the semantic groups.

Bodenreider O, McCray AT. Exploring Semantic Groups Through Visual Approaches J Biomed Inform. 2003 Dec;36(6):414-432.