Management of information in neuroimaging – INCR

Management of information in neuroimaging

Mis en ligne le 11 août 2012

Our vision is illustrated on the figure below. It consists in annotating image data and all features derived from this data (imaging biomarkers, patient specific models) in reference to domain ontologies that will make their semantics explicit. This will facilitate wide-scale intra- et inter-domain sharing and re-use of the data, as needed in modern translational research, thanks to semantic web technologies and mediation infrastructures based on these technologies.






This vision translates to the problem of sharing imaging data and sharing of processing tools in neuroimaging (Neurobase and Neurolog projects, Shanoir platform)} which led to build a suitable architecture to share images and processing tools, started from the NeuroBase project (supported by the French Ministry of Research), and pursued by the Neurolog project (project supported by ANR).


Research areas

Sharing of data and sharing of processing tools in neuroimaging

The NeuroLOG Project (2007-2010) was supported by ANR (under the "Software Technology" program). The overall goal was to set up a computer infrastructure to facilitate the sharing of neuroimaging data, as well as image processing tools, in a distributed and heterogeneous environment. The consortium gathered expertise coming from several complementary domains of expertise: image processing in neuroimaging, workflows and GRID computing, ontology development and ontology-based mediation. A key aspect of the project led by VisAGeS was the design of an application ontology (called OntoNeuroLOG), which provides a common language to share the semantics of the shared resources (i.e. neuroimaging data, on the one hand, and image processing tools, modeled as services, on the other hand). This was achieved according to a methodology called OntoSpec, designed by the Gilles Kassel's group in Amiens. OntoNeuroLOG is a major result of the project: it is a multi-layer application ontology, made of several core and domain ontologies, articulated around a foundational ontology called DOLCE, which provides the basic entities and basic design principles. VisAGeS was also leader of a workpackage dealing with the distributed data storage. This was implemented using two components of the NeuroLOG server: a "metadata manager" providing database query services, and a "data manager" ensuring the distributed management of image files. The metadata manager relies on mediation services provided by "Data Federator" (Business Objects, now SAP). Besides, semantic services, i.e. services that process a semantic representation of metadata (instances of the ontology's classes, represented in RDF) were developed to support enhanced metadata querying as well as reasoning about image processing. An application testbed is currently in operation; it includes several image databases located in four sites (Paris Pitié-Salpétrière-IRCM, Rennes VisAGeS, Grenoble GIN, and INRIA Asclepios at Sophia-Antipolis).