An automated reasoning framework for translational research.
In this paper we propose a novel approach to the design and implementation of knowledge-based decision support systems for translational research, specifically tailored to the analysis and interpretation of data from high-throughput experiments. Our approach is based on a general epistemological model of the scientific discovery process that provides a well-founded framework for integrating experimental data with preexisting knowledge and with automated inference tools. In order to demonstrate the usefulness and power of the proposed framework, we present its application to Genome-Wide Association Studies, and we use it to reproduce a portion of the initial analysis performed on the well-known WTCCC dataset. Finally, we describe a computational system we are developing, aimed at assisting translational research. The system, based on the proposed model, will be able to automatically plan and perform knowledge discovery steps, to keep track of the inferences performed, and to explain the obtained results.