We are contacting you on the basis of your expertise in syndromic surveillance and/or animal disease classification methods.
The lack of standardized recording of animal health data, and the consequent difficulties in setting up harmonized syndromic classification, are challenges often raised when syndromic surveillance is under discussion. We are well aware that a range of classification nomenclatures around animal disease exist, but currently there is little incentive for their adoption, especially considering the labour that would be required to recode data from individual institutions’ vocabularies.
Considering these challenges, we are planning to address the problem by gathering a number of experts interested in exploring potential solutions, and supplementing previous efforts with tools from the fields of computer/information science dedicated to the creation of functional ontologies. For more background on these subjects, please refer to the Semantic Web (http://semanticweb.org/wiki/Ontology) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL) (http://www.w3.org/TR/owl-features/) websites. Additionally, we plan to use machine learning methods to develop tools that will make the proposed ontologies more readily applicable; that is, to provide tools for translation of animal health data into the developed standardized classification system.
The work would consist of a series of iterations between expert knowledge elicitation and the application of machine learning methods. Details are provided in the summary work plan attached. The first instance of expert elicitation is planned to take place in conjunction with the ICAHS2 conference in Havana, Cuba (7-9th, May 2014), as a half-day post-conference workshop (therefore taking place on May 10th, 2014).
If you are interested in this initiative, we kindly ask you to reply to this email (mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org) confirming your interest, so that we can keep you on our list of experts for any future activities linked to this project. If, additionally, you will be able to attend the first workshop immediately after the ICAHS2 conference in Havana, in May 2014, please confirm your participation also by replying to this email, and we will send you a confirmation of your workshop registration. Lastly, please feel free to forward this email to any colleagues whose participation in this initiative you judge to be relevant.
Thank you for your attention, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Fernanda C. Dórea, National Veterinary Institute-Sweden
Céline Dupuy, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety-France
Ann Lindberg, National Veterinary Institute-Sweden
Crawford Revie, Canadian Veterinary Epidemiological Research-Canada
Flavie Vial, Veterinary Public Health Institute-Switzerland
Link to work plan
The Nordic Society for Veterinary Epidemiology (NOSOVE) is an informal organization with the vision of advancing veterinary epidemiology. The volunteering board aim to fulfill the vision by providing courses and opportunities to socialise and strengthen the network among post graduate students, researchers and others with an interest in epidemiology. Events are presented through the society network (blogspot).
NOSOVE started in 1988 as a collaboration between the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and has expanded to include the Baltic countries, but welcome members and participants from all countries.