Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



A THESIS: Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska, In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Computer Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Jitender S. Deogun. Lincoln, Nebraska; May, 2011

Copyright 2011 Swathi Vasanthapuram


The advancement of Information Technology in the last four decades led to the use of computers in medicine. A new area called Medical Informatics has emerged. This area comprises the application of IT to healthcare with the aim of creating tools that help healthcare personnel diagnose and treat patients more accurately and efficiently. IT not only provides tools for storing, integrating, and updating patient information base but also for processing information efficiently. One of such tools is a Clinical Decision Support System. Ontologies are an integral part of clinical decision support systems because they help formalize and integrate domain knowledge.

In this project, we developed a software program that assists clinicians in making diagnostic decisions about a particular problem type called ‘psychophysiological dysregulation of anger/aggression’. We created a new ontology for the problem domain. The computer program asks a set of pertinent questions and the patient or clinician on behalf of the patient is required to answer it. All these answers along with the results from various lab assessment tests are fed into the software program which then outputs a diagnosis by interacting with the ontology and also proposes the preferred treatment plan. While undergoing the treatment the patient is monitored at regular intervals by the clinician and this data is recorded as the treatment episode data. The tools and technologies used for this project are Web Ontology Language (OWL) version 2, Protégé 4.1.0 Beta, Java, Eclipse Helios IDE and IBM DB2.

Adviser: Jitender S. Deogun