Objective: The conduct of investigational studies that involve large-scale data sets presents significant challenges related to the discovery and testing of novel hypotheses capable of supporting in silico discovery science. The use of what are known as Conceptual Knowledge Discovery in Databases (CKDD) methods provides a potential means of scaling hypothesis discovery and testing approaches for large data sets. Such methods enable the high-throughput generation and evaluation of knowledge-anchored relationships between complexes of variables found in targeted data sets. Methods: The authors have conducted a multipart model formulation and validation process, focusing on the development of a methodological and technical approach to using CKDD to support hypothesis discovery for in silico science. The model the authors have developed is known as the Translational Ontology-anchored Knowledge Discovery Engine (TOKEn). This model utilizes a specific CKDD approach known as Constructive Induction to identify and prioritize potential hypotheses related to the meaningful semantic relationships between variables found in large-scale and heterogeneous biomedical data sets. Results: The authors have verified and validated TOKEn in the context of a translational research data repository maintained by the NCI-funded Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Research Consortium. Such studies have shown that TOKEn is: (1) computationally tractable; and (2) able to generate valid and potentially useful hypotheses concerning relationships between phenotypic and biomolecular variables in that data collection. Conclusions: The TOKEn model represents a potentially useful and systematic approach to knowledge synthesis for in silico discovery science in the context of large-scale and multidimensional research data sets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Dec 2011


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