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Using WordNet to Improve the Mapping of Data Elements to UMLS for Data Sources Integration
Each biomedical system has its own way of naming the pieces of information it contains, i.e., of defining its data elements (DEs). Integrating DEs facilitates the integration of biomedical resources. However, the mapping of DEs to the UMLS is ambiguous in many cases, when any correspondence is found at all. We propose to evaluate the potential contribution of a more general terminology: WordNet. Our method is based on synonyms, definitions, and structural prop-erties of the terminologies. We applied it to a set of 474 DEs extracted from eleven biomedical sources. We show that WordNet can improve the direct map-ping of DEs to UMLS when used to validate and dis-ambiguate UMLS direct mappings. WordNet can also help identify indirect mappings of DEs to the UMLS.