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The UMLS Semantic Network and the Semantic Web.
The Unified Medical Language System (UMLS), an extensive source of biomedical knowledge developed and maintained by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) is being currently used in a wide variety of biomedical applications. The Semantic Network, a component of the UMLS is a structured description of core biomedical knowledge consisting of well defined semantic types and relationships between them. We investigate the expressiveness of DAML+OIL, a markup language proposed for ontologies on the Semantic Web, for representing the knowledge contained in the Semantic Network. Requirements specific to the Semantic Network, such as polymorphic relationships and blocking relationship inheritance are discussed and approaches to represent these in DAML+OIL are presented. Finally, conclusions are presented along with a discussion of ongoing and future work.