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A terminology server should support selective retrieval by facilitating testing of expressions against query predicates .

Using expressions is the most common approach for supporting postcoordination .

Example use cases:

  1. Users define a

    postcoordinated expression

    , the server verifies if the

    expression

    is an exact match with an existing

    precoordinated

    concept

    or if it will be stored in a

    postcoordinated expressions

    repository as a new or existing

    expression

    .
  2. For a epidemiological purposes a predicate

    expression

    is created as a query. The predicate

    expression

    is matched against candidate

    expressions

    and

    concept

    references stored in the clinical record, to retrieve all content equivalent or subsumed by the predicate

    expression

    .

To facilitate complete and accurate retrieval of precoordinated and postcoordinated expressions from clinical records or other resources it is necessary to compare an expression in a record with a query predicate . This comparison needs to determine if the candidate expression is subsumed by the predicate.

The same meaning can be represented in different postcoordinated expressions and to facilitate comparison expressions with the same meaning can be converted to a common normal form . This section describes the process of normalization and the approach to testing for subsumption between the resulting normal form expressions .


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