A framework for assessing the consistency of drug classes across sources

J Biomed Semantics. 2014 Jul 9;5:30. doi: 10.1186/2041-1480-5-30. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

Background: The objective of this study is to develop a framework for assessing the consistency of drug classes across sources, such as MeSH and ATC. Our framework integrates and contrasts lexical and instance-based ontology alignment techniques. Moreover, we propose metrics for assessing not only equivalence relations, but also inclusion relations among drug classes.

Results: We identified 226 equivalence relations between MeSH and ATC classes through the lexical alignment, and 223 through the instance-based alignment, with limited overlap between the two (36). We also identified 6,257 inclusion relations. Discrepancies between lexical and instance-based alignments are illustrated and discussed.

Conclusions: Our work is the first attempt to align drug classes with sophisticated instance-based techniques, while also distinguishing between equivalence and inclusion relations. Additionally, it is the first application of aligning drug classes in ATC and MeSH. By providing a detailed account of similarities and differences between drug classes across sources, our framework has the prospect of effectively supporting the creation of a mapping of drug classes between ATC and MeSH by domain experts.

Keywords: ATC; Drug classes; Instance-based mapping; Lexical mapping; MeSH.