IEEE IC Special Issue is Out

by Chimezie Ogbuji

Ogbuji, Chimezie;   Gomadam, Karthik;   Petrie, Charles;  
Case Western Reserve University 

This paper appears in: Internet Computing, IEEE
Issue Date: July-Aug. 2011
Volume: 15 Issue:4
On page(s): 10 - 13
ISSN: 1089-7801
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/MIC.2011.99 
Date of Current Version: 2011-06-30 10:41:12.0
Sponsored by: IEEE Computer Society 


Contemporary Web-based architectures can help address the technological and architectural challenges inherent to modern personal health record (PHR) systems. Current research in the area of healthcare informatics has focused on incorporating Web-based technology for PHR systems' primary functions. This special issue presents work in this area of research.


I received my complementary copy of this IEEE IC with the special issue on Personal Health Records that I was guest editor for. It turned out well in the end.

A Role for Semantic Web Technologies in Patient Record Data Collection

I found out today that not only is the Linking Enterprise Book now available but it is also freely available online as well as in other avenues (Springer and pre-order on Amazon):

Linking Enterprise Data is the application of Semantic Web architecture principles to real-world information management issues faced by commercial, not-for-profit and government enterprises.This book aims to provide practical approaches to addressing common information management issues by the application of Semantic Web and Linked Data research to production environments.


I wrote a chapter ("A Role for Semantic Web Technologies in Patient Record Data Collection") discussing the debate around SOAP-based web services and Representational State Transfer (REST) that focuses on a specific, deployed use case that emphasizes the role of the Semantic Web, a simple Web application architecture that leverages the use of declarative XML processing, and the needs of a workflow system for patient record data collection.  It touches just a bit some of the use of XForms to manage patient record content as special-purpose XML dialects for RDF graphs that I mentioned in my last post but is mostly focused on how to use RDF to manage workflow state to orchestrate data collection of patient data.

Business Process Management Systems (BPMS) are a component of the stack of Web standards that comprise Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Such systems are representative of the architectural framework of modern information systems built in an enterprise intranet and are in contrast to systems built for deployment on the larger World Wide Web. The REST architectural style is an emerging style for building loosely coupled systems based purely on the native HTTP protocol. It is a coordinated set of architectural constraints with a goal to minimize latency, maxi- mize the independence and scalability of distributed components, and facilitate the use of intermediary processors. Within the development community for distributed, Web-based systems, there has been a debate regarding the merits of both approaches. In some cases, there are legitimate concerns about the differences in both architec- tural styles. In other cases, the contention seems to be based on concerns that are marginal at best. 

In this chapter, we will attempt to contribute to this debate by focusing on a specific, deployed use case that emphasizes the role of the Semantic Web, a simple Web application architecture that leverages the use of declarative XML processing, and the needs of a workflow system. The use case involves orchestrating a work process associated with the data entry of structured patient record content into a research registry at the Cleveland Clinic’s Clinical Investigation department in the Heart and Vascular Institute

The Loss of a Great Author - Octavia Butler

I just found out earlier today, that Octavia Butler died at the age of 58. I really cannot fully express how her body of work has effected me on a very personal level. CNN has a short entry about her passing that is probably appropriate to anyone who has never read any of her work - especially in regards to why she was more than just yet another science fiction author.

For me, the thing about her work that impressed upon me (more than anything else) was her ability to blend standard science fiction components (futuristic settings, super natural characters and scenarios, underlying science themes, etc..) with incredibly unique, believable, and powerful characters. Not just strong characters, but characters that found themselves in situations that posed very profound questions about issues of race, gender, culture, and the human condition (with a heavy enphasis on the first two).

I had always felt after reading her literature that the issues were addressed and presented much more effectively (in the science fiction context) than if they were works of non-fiction, biographical literature, essays, or other more 'formal' literary forms.

The most poignant of her characters were black women and she had a way of writing black female characters with such authenticity that it often left me expecting the same authenticity from authors in the same genre (or in general). It was this authenticity (that I couldn't find anywhere else) that kept me coming back to her work, hungry for more glimpses of her vivid, anthropological tapestry.

Character development, especially in stories where the plot is more creative than the norm, is so easily overlooked and underappreciated. For my money, there were few authors who could create characters that stuck with you long after the plots (through which they developed) were lost and displaced by recent readings. Octavia Butler was one of them.

My favorite of her books were:

  • Wildseed (From the trilogy: Wildseed, Mind of My Mind, and Pattern Master)
  • Parable of the Sower (From the series: Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents)

I had (wistfuly) hoped to meet her someday and ask her (amongst a long list of other, related questions) whether she had come to conclusions / resolutions of her own regarding the depravity of the human condition that she so eloquently described in her books, but I'll never get that oppurtunity.

From one of your most enthusiastic of fans: Rest In Peace, Miss. Butler. You would have made Lao Tse (and his contemporaries - in their time) proud.

Chimezie Ogbuji

via Copia