Decentralised Clinical Guideline Modelling with the Lightweight Coordination Calculus

B. Hu, D. Dupplaw, D. Robertson, P. Lewis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Background: Clinical protocols and guidelines have been considered as a major means to ensure that cost-effective services are provided at the point of care. Recently, the computerisation of clinical guidelines has attracted extensive research interest. Many languages and frameworks have been developed. Thus far, however, an enactment mechanism to facilitate decentralised guideline execution has been a largely neglected line of research. It is our contention that decentralisation is essential to maintain a high-performance system in pervasive health care scenarios. In this paper, we propose the use of Lightweight Coordination Calculus (LCC) as a feasible solution. LCC is a light-weight and executable process calculus that has been used successfully in multi-agent systems, peer-to-peer (p2p) computer networks, etc. In light of an envisaged pervasive health care scenario, LCC, which represents clinical protocols and guidelines as message-based interaction models, allows information exchange among software agents distributed across different departments and/or hospitals.

Results: We outlined the syntax and semantics of LCC; proposed a list of refined criteria against which the appropriateness of candidate clinical guideline modelling languages are evaluated; and presented two LCC interaction models of real life clinical guidelines.

Conclusions: We demonstrated that LCC is particularly useful in modelling clinical guidelines. It specifies the exact partition of a workflow of events or tasks that should be observed by multiple “players” as well as the interactions among these “players”. LCC presents the strength of both process calculi and Horn clauses pair of which can provide a close resemblance of logic programming and the flexibility of practical implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Languages in Biology and Medicine
PublisherCEUR Workshop Proceedings
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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