February 10, 2009: Seminar: Wesley W. Chu: "A Knowledge-based Medical Digital Library"

The University of Illinois at Chicago

Department of Computer Science

2008-2009 Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series

A Knowledge-based Medical Digital Library

Wesley W. Chu
University of California, Los Angeles
Thursday, March 19, 2009
11:00 a.m., Room 1000 SEO


Patient medical records, such as clinical and laboratory reports, are now commonly stored on computers to improve accessibility for health care providers. However, information retrieval is limited on an individual patient basis (i.e., using patient ID as a key). Therefore, it would be highly beneficial to be able to transform this sea of data into a general medical information source. In doing so, we would then be able to provide users with valuable scenario-specific information for patient care, medical research and education. For example, a patient could search for relevant literature and specialists regarding the treatment of his/her specific disease. Health care providers would be able to identify other individuals in the system with a demography and disease similar to their patients, and could thereby discover the success rates and side effects of treatment methods used. Medical researchers would be able to study the characteristics of new diseases and the effectiveness of treatment methods for those diseases. Motivated by this potential, we research on developing such a knowledge based medical digital library at UCLA for the past five years. The goal is to use innovative methodologies for organizing and identifying information sources, supporting users with scenario specific query answering, and providing content-based cross-referencing. Since most documents in the medical domain are written in semi-structural or free-text forms, several new challenges need to be investigated: extracting key features from free text to represent document content, clustering similar key features into topics and organizing them into hierarchies for content-based cross reference, developing knowledge-based scenario-specific query expansion techniques to resolve any mismatch between key terms used in the query and those used in documents, and similarity ranking matrices with considerations of query semantics. The unique aspect of this research is in the integration of the medical knowledge base (e.g., ULMS) as an integral part of the methodology.

Brief Bio:

Wesley W. Chu is a distinguished professor of Computer Science and was the past chairman (1988-1991) for the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Los Angeles. He researched computer communications and distributed databases at Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, New Jersey(1966-1969). He joined the University of California, Los Angeles in 1969. His current research interest is in the areas of knowledge-based medical information systems, intelligent information systems and security and privacy in information systems. Dr. Chu has received best paper awards at the 19th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling in 2000 for his work (coauthored with D. Lee) on XML/Relational schema transformation. He and his students have received best paper awards at the American Medical Information Association Congress in 2002 and 2003 for indexing and retrieval of medical free text, and have also been awarded a "Certificate of Merit" for the Medical Digital Library demo system at the 89th Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in 2003. He is also the recipient of the IEEE Computer Society 2003 Technical Achievement Award for his contributions to Intelligent Information Systems. Dr. Chu is active in ACM and IEEE activities by organizing conferences and participating in technical programs. He has received several awards for his services. He has also served as guest editor and associate editor for several international journals related to data bases and intelligent information systems. Dr. Chu is a Fellow of IEEE

Host: Professor Clement Yu

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