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Interoperability and Semantics

The NCI semantic infrastructure includes end-user applications, services, and content for helping to achieve interoperability, data integration, and data sharing through the use of metadata, models, and controlled terminology.

Metadata and models are stored in the cancer Data Standards Registry and Repository (caDSR), a collection of applications and services for hosting, finding, creating, editing, and deploying data elements, definitions, models, and standard case-report forms (CRFs). The metadata repository structures content according to the ISO/IEC 11179 international metadata standard and contains links to controlled terminology provided by Enterprise Vocabulary Services (EVS).

EVS provides terminology content, applications, and services for creating and annotating caDSR data elements as well as supporting coding, data annotation, and activities that require terminology standards, such as regulatory reporting for clinical trials.

The use of Unified Modeling Language (UML) models defined in the caDSR and cancer Common Ontologic Representation Environment (caCORE) tools to generate and deploy data services provides an interoperability framework. This framework enables researchers to aggregate data originating from disparate sources for analysis. Sufficient flexibility is provided to allow for scientific innovation beyond existing standards.