BioMeRSA: The Biology media repository with semantic augmentation

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Cornwell, Adam
Biology; Database; Metathesaurus; Multimedia; Ontology; Semantics
thesis / dissertation description
With computers now capable of easily handling all kinds of multimedia files in vast quantity, and with the Internet now well-suited to exchange these files, we are faced with the challenge of organizing this data in such a way so as to make the information most useful and accessible. This holds true as well for media pertaining to the field of biology, where multimedia is particularly useful in education, as well as in research. To help address this, a software system with a Web-based interface has been developed for improving the accuracy and specificity of multimedia searching and browsing by integrating semantic data pertaining to the field of biology from the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS). Using the Biology Media Repository with Semantic Augmentation (BioMeRSA) system, users who are considered to be `experts' can associate concepts from UMLS with multimedia files submitted by other users to provide semantic context for the files. These annotations are used to retrieve relevant files in the searching and browsing interfaces. A wide variety of image files are currently supported, with some limited support for video and audio files.