G. Duftschmid, S. Miksch, W. Gall:
"Verification of Temporal Scheduling Constraints in Clinical Practice Guidelines";
Artificial Intelligence in Medicine,
The computerization of clinical practice guidelines is a significant scientific challenge for the medical informatics community. One frequently reported factor hindering this objective is the existence of deficiencies within guideline knowledge. In this paper, we focus on the detection of flaws within temporal scheduling constraints. Temporal scheduling constraints are important elements of therapy management, and are frequently incorporated in clinical practice guidelines. We present a suitable verification method that is based on calculating the minimal network of temporal constraints on the execution of guideline activities. Our method serves three purposes: (1) it checks whether temporal scheduling constraints are consistent with scheduling constraints implied by control flow operators and the hierarchical structuring of a guideline; (2) it yields suggestions for an equivalent, yet more explicit representation of non-minimal constraints; (3) it can be used by the guideline interpreter to assemble feasible time intervals for the execution of each guideline activity. We evaluate our approach by applying it to a guideline specified in the Asbru language. For this purpose, we implemented a prototype verifier. Although we concentrate on the guideline representation language Asbru as the demonstration medium of our method within this paper, our approach can be reused to verify several alternative guideline representation formats.
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