DFKI-LT - A Modal Representation of Graded Medical Statements

Hans-Ulrich Krieger, Stefan Schulz
A Modal Representation of Graded Medical Statements
1 Fromal Grammar 2015/2016 volume 9804,
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Pages 1-17, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 2016

Medical natural language statements uttered by physicians are usually graded, i.e., are associated with a degree of uncertainty about the validity of a medical assessment. This uncertainty is often expressed through specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives in natural language. In this paper, we look into a representation of such graded statements by presenting a simple non-standard modal logic which comes with a set of modal operators, directly associated with the words indicating the uncertainty and interpreted through confidence intervals in the model theory. Our interest in such a formalization is related to the use of OWL as the de facto standard in (medical) ontologies today and its weakness to represent and reason about assertional knowledge that is uncertain or that changes over time. The approach is not restricted to medical statements, but is applicable to other graded statements as well.
Files: BibTeX, gradedmodals.pdf