This article is part of the supplement: Semantic e-Science in Biomedicine

Open Access Research

Towards Semantic e-Science for Traditional Chinese Medicine

Huajun Chen1*, Yuxin Mao1, Xiaoqing Zheng1, Meng Cui2, Yi Feng1, Shuiguang Deng1, Aining Yin2, Chunying Zhou1, Jinming Tang1, Xiaohong Jiang1 and Zhaohui Wu1

Author Affiliations

1 College of Computer Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310027, P.R. China

2 China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing, 100700, P.R. China

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BMC Bioinformatics 2007, 8(Suppl 3):S6  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-8-S3-S6

Published: 9 May 2007



Recent advances in Web and information technologies with the increasing decentralization of organizational structures have resulted in massive amounts of information resources and domain-specific services in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The massive volume and diversity of information and services available have made it difficult to achieve seamless and interoperable e-Science for knowledge-intensive disciplines like TCM. Therefore, information integration and service coordination are two major challenges in e-Science for TCM. We still lack sophisticated approaches to integrate scientific data and services for TCM e-Science.


We present a comprehensive approach to build dynamic and extendable e-Science applications for knowledge-intensive disciplines like TCM based on semantic and knowledge-based techniques. The semantic e-Science infrastructure for TCM supports large-scale database integration and service coordination in a virtual organization. We use domain ontologies to integrate TCM database resources and services in a semantic cyberspace and deliver a semantically superior experience including browsing, searching, querying and knowledge discovering to users. We have developed a collection of semantic-based toolkits to facilitate TCM scientists and researchers in information sharing and collaborative research.


Semantic and knowledge-based techniques are suitable to knowledge-intensive disciplines like TCM. It's possible to build on-demand e-Science system for TCM based on existing semantic and knowledge-based techniques. The presented approach in the paper integrates heterogeneous distributed TCM databases and services, and provides scientists with semantically superior experience to support collaborative research in TCM discipline.