Semantic wikis as flexible database interfaces for biomedical applications | Scientific Reports
peter.suber's bookmarks 2023-01-27
Abstract: Several challenges prevent extracting knowledge from biomedical resources, including data heterogeneity and the difficulty to obtain and collaborate on data and annotations by medical doctors. Therefore, flexibility in their representation and interconnection is required; it is also essential to be able to interact easily with such data. In recent years, semantic tools have been developed: semantic wikis are collections of wiki pages that can be annotated with properties and so combine flexibility and expressiveness, two desirable aspects when modeling databases, especially in the dynamic biomedical domain. However, semantics and collaborative analysis of biomedical data is still an unsolved challenge. The aim of this work is to create a tool for easing the design and the setup of semantic databases and to give the possibility to enrich them with biostatistical applications. As a side effect, this will also make them reproducible, fostering their application by other research groups. A command-line software has been developed for creating all structures required by Semantic MediaWiki. Besides, a way to expose statistical analyses as R Shiny applications in the interface is provided, along with a facility to export Prolog predicates for reasoning with external tools. The developed software allowed to create a set of biomedical databases for the Neuroscience Department of the University of Padova in a more automated way. They can be extended with additional qualitative and statistical analyses of data, including for instance regressions, geographical distribution of diseases, and clustering. The software is released as open source-code and published under the GPL-3 license at https://github.com/mfalda/tsv2swm.