Standard Article

Unified Medical Language System and associated vocabularies

Part 4. Bioinformatics

4.7. Structuring and Integrating Data

Specialist Review

  1. Christopher G. Chute

Published Online: 15 NOV 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047001153X.g408207

Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

How to Cite

Chute, C. G. 2005. Unified Medical Language System and associated vocabularies. Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics. 4:4.7:81.

Author Information

  1. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 NOV 2005

Abstract

Vocabularies and ontologies comprise conceptual underpinnings of science, biology, and medicine. The 400-year heritage of medical classification has evolved into a broadly diverse spectrum of discrete vocabularies, nomenclatures, terminologies, and ontologies about terms and concepts of clinical and basic science interest. The Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) of the National Library Medicine (NLM) is an effective form in which about 100 major terminologies are compiled in a common format. For many source systems, complex relationships between and among terms are faithfully represented in the UMLS Metathesaurus. Many sophisticated relationships exist across terms among these terminologies. Complementing the core Metathesaurus are rich components of UMLS that have tremendous value and generalizability to the UMLS suite. The major UMLS components are (1) the Semantic Network, which enumerates a shared network of meaning applied across all Metathesaurus sources and (2) the Specialist Lexicon, which provides a rich linguistic body of knowledge about English words and terms together with an open-source suite of natural language processing tools and applications.

Keywords:

  • vocabularies;
  • controlled terminologies;
  • ontologies;
  • biomedical concepts;
  • knowledge representation;
  • concept representation;
  • nomenclature