New features

Publication of an extension

It is now possible to publish an extension as the ontology can be exported by module. You can find the new feature on the SNOMED CT Publication page of the export wizard.

To open SNOMED CT Publication page, go to File > Export... in the Menu, select Snow Owl > SNOMED CT to RF1 and RF2 from the list, and click Next. You can see that we added a section called Modules to export where you chose which module you want to export. At least one module has to be selected for export, but you can also select more modules.

SNOMED CT Publication page

Linkage set generation includes transitive relationships

The linkage set generation will now not only include hierarchical relationships, but all types of relationships (e.g. finding site, associated morphology). To see the new feature, you have to compare two reference sets and generate a linkage set. A linkage set can only be generated if the comparison found subsumption between the members of the reference sets.

For further information about comparing reference sets and generating linkage sets please refer to the updated sections of the User Guide.

Modular classification

Snow Owl now supports modular classification of OWL DL ontologies. This is of most interest if you are using an extended SNOMED CT concept model that uses advanced description logic features like datatype properties, universal restrictions and disjunction--such as the emerging IHTSDO Pharmacy Model or the Singapore Drug Dictionary.

This technique uses module extraction to separate the simpler SNOMED CT relationships from the more advanced ones. The former are processed by the world's fastest OWL EL reasoner--ELK. The latter are classified using the full OWL DL reasoner HermiT. The module extraction and classifier orchestration are performed by the new MORe reasoner.

Classifier preferences with MORe reasoner

While the memory requirements for modular classification are higher than with a native OWL DL reasoner like FaCT++, the classification performance is significantly higher. Our pharmaceutical test model that takes over 19 minutes to classify with FaCT++ completes in only 28 seconds using MORe.

Classifier performance on sample OWL DL ontology

Import comparison for ATC from CLaML

When importing an ATC release from ClaML, you can now compare the differences between the previous version and the new version. The differences can be reviewed on the last page of the import wizard, which displays the import results. The last column shows if an existing component was modified (you can see the modification of the term in the label field), or an existing component was removed in the new version.

Import results displaying changes

New collaborative feature

Increased functionality of the Administrator role

The Admin role can now edit the main repository. In collaborative mode, someone with an Editor role can only edit the branches (i.e. can only work on tasks) and cannot directly update the main repository (i.e. make changes while no task is active). This is to ensure, that all editing is subject to a review process. Previously both Editor and Administrator rights were required to be able to edit the main repository directly. From this release it's enough to have only the Administrator rights.

See our updated user-role matrix for further information about the different roles and rights below.

User-role matrix

Additional documentation in the User Guide

Restructuring of User Guide

To accomodate the increasing quantity of documentation, the User Guide was completely restructured. Instead of one large document, it now consists of nine chapters, each of which covers a different functionality or topic. The chapters start out with a general introduction, describe the most common uses and finish up with more advanced features. We hope that this will help you to find the level of information that fits best to your needs, and of course always welcome your feedback.

Here is an overview of the chapters. To open the chapters, expand the nodes in front of the titles.

Please keep in mind that the purpose of this User Guide is to give a comprehensive and in-depth description of the various functions of Snow Owl. If you are looking for a more concise introduction to Snow Owl, we recommend the Getting Started with Snow Owl Guide.

Importing, Exporting and Publishing

The chapter Importing, Exporting and Publishing in the User guide was extended and updated. Special attention was given to the newly added features (Publishing a SNOMED CT release, Importing an ATC release).