Towards a reusable evaluation framework for ontology based biomedical systems integration
Evaluation of ontology based integrated biomedical systems is important for them to find wide adoption and reuse in distributed computing environments that facilitate information exchange and knowledge generation in biomedicine. The review reveals many approaches to information systems and ontology based evaluation with standards, none of which are generic enough for use in all situations. It also shows increased use and reliance on ontologies for biomedical integration systems to overcome the issues of semantic heterogeneity and bridging across levels of granularity in biomedical data. The wide acceptance and reuse of ontology based integration systems remains hampered by the lack of a general framework to assess these systems for quality. To address this requirement, a new flexible framework for evaluating ontology based biomedical integration systems is proposed. The proposed framework extends existing Information systems and ontology evaluation approaches. The framework is also informed by the theories of formal ontology, self organizing systems, summative and formative evaluation. It has the potential to relate ontology structure to user objectives in order to derive requirements for a flexible framework for evaluating ontology based integrated biological and clinical information systems in environments with changing user needs and increasing biomedical data.