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Friday, October 4 • 11:30am - 11:50am
Poster Presentations in Exhibition- #1 Automatic Translation of Workflow Descriptions into Formal Process Notations

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The digitization of life sciences is based on processes implemented in software, which combine manual and automated work seamlessly. The major part of currently available process descriptions is provided in human-readable text-based formats (e.g., protocols, SOPs, clinical pathways,…), either for historical reasons or due to the lack of appropriate toolchains that formalize processes in versatile ways. Technical process descriptions, on the other hand, need to be well-defined given in a formal notation like BPMN in order for them to be executed by software and deployed on the hardware. The translation of natural-language process descriptions into formal notations requires a substantial amount of effort because technicians need to translate between actual application domains and technical domains. Human capacities limit the degree to which the translation can be sped up, but the need for translation is high: many processes are still being implemented manually, and large numbers of documented process descriptions exist.

 We combine the current state-of-the-art of natural language processing (NLP) with ontological engineering and formal process modeling in order to automate the process of translation of text-based workflow descriptions into machine-readable representations. We devise a software pipeline that, firstly, preprocesses domain corpora in order to distill and identify linguistic features, which are then matched against ontological knowledge. Secondly, an online process reuses these features for rapid translation of textual data into formal process models. We demonstrate the feasibility of our approach and show current drawbacks and limitations.


Sebastian Schoening

Group Manager, Fraunhofer IPA
Experienced group manager with a demonstrated history of working in research and development of automated systems for life-science applications. Graduated in computer science at Saarland University (Germany), skilled in the design, implementation, and analysis of discrete biotechnological... Read More →

Friday October 4, 2019 11:30am - 11:50am EDT
Washington Ballroom (5th Fl) - Courtyard Boston Downtown 275 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116