Towards an Ontology for Conceptual Modeling

Conceptual modeling can be viewed as a way of expressing human understanding of a body of knowledge. This view can be viewed as distinct from standard notions of data modeling and ontology, which seek to directly describe data and reality. We define conceptual interoperability, give use cases and requirements for it, and introduce the Conceptual Model Ontology (CMO), which satisfies the discussed use cases and requirements. We show how, using a common vocabulary, conceptual models can be used to tie together data at the level of conceptual interoperability. Finally, we introduce an implementation of CMO in the semantic web Biomedical Informatics Grid (swBIG), a linked data proxy for cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) models, semantic metadata, and data.

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The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) PopSciGrid Community Health Portal is an evolving platform demonstrating how health behavior, policy, and demographic data can be integrated, visualized, and communicated to empower communities and support new avenues of research and policy for cancer prevention and control. As a proof of concept for cyber-enabled population health research, the PopSciGrid Portal is designed to encourage trans-disciplinary collaboration, data harmonization, and development of new computational methods for disparate health related data.