Project OBJREP (an acronym for Object Repertory) aims at resolving a problem of effective materia medica knowledge representation that would be both comprehensive and easy to use.
Existing repertories, both modern and historical, suffer from incurable problems inherent to the sole principle on which an idea of repertory is based – that of a generalized index of symptoms.
Object Repertory would allow a huge and extraordinary leap in homeopathic treatment, as it uses a different paradigm that allows both a precise knowledge representation (as recorded in materia medicae) combined with an ease of use usually expected from a repertory.
The result of the project would be a database storing materia medica texts as an interconnected net of objects linked to a general homeopathic ontology. The database will be available to developers for incorporation into their (homeopathic) software.
This project is a part of Legatum Homeopathicum effort. Please also have a look at other projects we are working on.
Throughout its history, homepathy has accumulated a great amount of knowledge about medicinal properties of various substances -– ranging tens of thousands of pages. This knowledge is the basis of homeopathic prescribing, providing indications and characteristics for homeopathic remedy selection. Unfortunately, this knowledge remains largely unused as there are no effective tools (to date) that would make this massive amount of knowledge accessible to a homeopath.
The existing repertories help to make homeopathic practice faster, but they all are
To demonstrate those problems, let's take the an example symptom
“Fine stitching in the left temple with red halo around objects and a feeling as if he was in a strange place, although he is in his own bed, in the rainy morning after waking up and remembering the grievous occurrences of the past day.”
In a standard repertory, the remedy that presents the above symptom could be included in many standard rubrics, such as
Head, pain, stitching, temples
Head, pain, stitching, temples, left
Head, pain, temples
Head, pain, temples, left
Head, pain, temples, morning
Head, pain, temples, morning, waking, after
Mind, confusion of mind, morning
Vision, red, halo
Of course, there are many more combinations that could be created, such as
Mind, confusion of mind, headache, with
Head, pain, remembering past occurrences
Head, pain, bed, in
Head, pain, temples, remembering past occurrences
Vision, red, halo, headache, with
As should be clear, a great many more rubrics could be created (by combining various components and conditions of the original symptom), but the process involves many possible combinations, so in the end, only those rubrics are created which the author of the repertory deems fit. Given the nature of the rubrics and the process, the errors in adding remedies to their respective rubrics are inevitable.
Needless to say, the overall idea of the symptom is mangled to death even if we somehow managed to include the remedy in all the possible rubrics. Based on the repertorization, we could be induced to prescribe the remedy for someone experiencing a stitching pain in the temples, but reading the original symptom, that would hardly be a good idea, given all the other conditions (morning, rain, after waking, remembering unpleasant things) and special concomitant symptoms present (red halo, confusion with regards to place) -– unless they would be present, of course.
Constantine Hering, one of the great homeopaths of past times, was well aware of this and his “Analytical repertory of the symptoms of mind” involves all kinds of details (mostly quoting directly from materia medica) which, unfortunately, resulted in a book that simplifies the search for a remedy only very slightly and is more similar to using materia medica than a repertory as we know it today. Most rubrics contain only one or two remedies, the symptoms are quite difficult to locate, the rubrics, however, are very characteristic. (see excerpt below)
A paradigm of object repertory creation considers iterative parsing of the sentences from the data source (materia medica, provings etc.) into basic categories and components and linking these to their respective ontological points. By ontological points we mean components of an ontological net (see Ontology ), which is a connected net of meanings representing various ontological relationships.
An example below presents a very basic sketch of anatomical ontological net
For practical purposes of knowledge representation, a more detailed net would be necessary, such as presented below.
For the purpose of illustrating the process of mapping sentences to ontological net, let's use the same symptom as given previously:
“Fine stitching in the left temple with red halo around objects and a feeling as if he was in a strange place, although he is in his own bed, in the rainy morning after waking up and remembering the grievous occurrences of the past day.”
The process of mapping a symptom to the ontological net consists of the following steps:
This is a preliminary categorization and is subject to modifications:
Superscript provides categorization assignment.
The image below provides a visual representation of the process.
As a final step of the process, each semantic unit is linked to its respective ontological point, such as:
fine = mild; having low intensity
stitching = a series of sharp painful sensations as if produced by a pointed object
temple = the flat area on either side of the forehead
The Object Repertory solves all the ailments of traditional repertories mentioned earlier:
In addition, the ontological net and the manner in which the symptoms are stored allows for use of artificial intelligence, data mining and expert systems algorithms which could greatly facilitate homeopath's job by suggesting specific questions to be asked, evaluating and justifying the selection of remedies and more.
To have a better idea how Object Repertory would be used in practice, please read this article.
The process of implementation of object repertory can be divided into several phases:
Phase 3 may run in parallel to other phases, phase 2 may run in parallel to phase 4, phase 6 parallel to phase 5, as shown in the diagram below.
ONTSOFT user interface and its use would be very similar to existing mindmapping / brainstorming / diagramming tools, such as bubbl.us used to create diagrams in this presentation. The difference would be in the use of data, enhanced classes, relationships, rules management and other functions necessary to create an ontology rather than a generalized mindmap.
While a general mindmapping / brainstorming tool would present generic connection among the nodes (which can be interpreted as seen fit), ONTSOFT would present specific classes of connections, for example PART OF connection (“finger” is PART OF “hand”), KIND OF connection (“index finger” is KIND OF “finger”).
ONTSOFT is planned as an online tool allowing collaborative effort, with user groups rights management and access restrictions. The data will be stored in a standard relational database server.
Potential investor could benefit from this software in various ways, as it would be possible to use it outside of the scope of this project, if interested. Possible utilization of ONTSOFT outside of scope of this project:
Estimated duration of Phase 1: 4 – 6 months
Estimated total costs of Phase 1: 15 000 – 20 000 EUR
Creating ONTNET is the next major step in the process of creating the object repertory. A decent amount of work that can be utilized for creating the basic structure has already been done in the synonyms database of Mercurius homeopathic software which will kindly donate this work for the purposes of Legatum Homeopathicum project.
The creation of ONTNET will also heavily rely on existing ontologies or ontology-like structures that we plan to utilize to various degrees, such as:
WordNet - http://wordnet.princeton.edu/
Foundational Model of Anatomy - http://sig.biostr.washington.edu/projects/fm/AboutFM.html
Disease Ontology - http://do-wiki.nubic.northwestern.edu/do-wiki/index.php/Main_Page
Suggested Upper Merged Ontology (SUMO) - http://www.ontologyportal.org/
Estimated duration of Phase 2: 9 – 12 months
Estimated total costs of Phase 2: 20 000 – 30 000 EUR
The texts for inclusion in the TEXTBASE will be kindly donated by AEON GROUP (developer of Mercurius homeopathic software). The donated texts are in electronic form, formatted, sentence disambiguated, so only minor processing and formatting work should be necessary to prepare even large corpora for inclusion to OBJREP.
Estimated duration of Phase 3: 1 – 2 months
Estimated total costs of Phase 3: 3 000 – 5 000 EUR
Further development of ONTSOFT may run in parallel with the development of ONTNET. The additional functions to be implemented will cover tools and functions for seamless process of connecting TEXTBASE components (sentences) to ONTNET points.
Estimated duration of Phase 4: 2 – 3 months
Estimated total costs of Phase 4: 5 000 – 8 000 EUR
Mapping of TEXTBASE to ONTNET is the core idea of object repertory. The duration and the costs of this phase are determined by the size of the TEXTBASE.
TEXTBASE consists of materia medica, which are provings (records of symptoms produced by a substance on healthy humans) and clinical symptoms – the source of information for homeopathic prescribing.
In order to achieve a useful result we consider implementing at least the following sources:
The total volume of these sources is about 40 000 standard pages (1800 characters per page). The estimated productivity (with a manual assignment of all the components of TEXTBASE sentence to ONTNET) is 60 – 90 min. per standard page.
Estimated duration of Phase 5 (with 20 people working 4 hours a day, manual approach): cca 2 – 3 years
Estimated total costs of Phase 5 (with an estimated wage of 10 EUR per hour, manual approach): 400 000 – 600 000 EUR
Given the high costs, a mixed approach utilizing advanced algorithms and a manual assignments, where the user would more or less just check the correctness of the assignment and make a correction from time to time. Since the effectiveness of algorithms in question can only be estimated, the time to process one standard page could be in the range of 20 – 40 minutes per page.
Estimated duration of Phase 5 (with 20 people working 4 hours a day, mixed approach): cca 6 – 12 months
Estimated costs of Phase 5 (with an estimated wage of 10 EUR per hour, mixed approach): 150 000 – 300 000 EUR for manual work
Estimated duration of development of advanced algorithms: 6 months
Estimated costs of development of advanced algorithms: 40 000 EUR
Further optional development ONTNET would consist of working on improving the integrity and relationships of ONTNET points with the aim of improving the total usability of the object repertory. In theory, this work is indefinite, therefore the range of such work can only be considered in face of practical considerations and when such point of the project development is reached.
The estimated costs provided for each phase are calculated considering in-house development. In view of the proposed status of the results of the project (free for all), many parts of the project could be realized utilizing volunteer work, pretty much like any other open source project.
We are looking for volunteers willing to work on/support this project, especially
Experts for working on ONTNET (skills: excellent understanding of English, great attention to detail, good understanding of homeopathy, anatomy, physiology, psychology and philosophy),
Worker bees for basic TEXTBASE mapping, typos corrections and other rudimentary tasks (skills: good understanding of English language, good attention to detail),
Communicators, Marketers, SEO Experts and PR Experts for improving our online presence, brand and audience reach, to attract talent and energy to this project
Last but not least – SPONSORS to provide funding that will allow this project to happen!
Anyone matching the desired skills and willing to join, please apply here now!
The more volunteers will join, the less money will be needed from the sponsors and the sooner we'll achieve the result!
Anyone donating 500 EUR and more – or having worked at least 200 hours on the project – is entitled to receive a free working version of Mercurius homeopathic software incorporating the Object Repertory (when it is implemented).
As of this moment, we are looking either for sponsors or investors to finance the project. The source of financing of the project naturally influences the license for use of the resulting database.
The best scenario: we will accumulate enough money and volunteers to justify starting the project, with the result released in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (which allows commercial use). The results of the project will effectively become public domain, which is what we want.
Other scenario: we will find an investor willing to finance the project, use the result in any commercial way they like, for an agreed period of time and release the resulting database to public, when the agreed period has passed. In this case, all donations received specifically for this project will be offered to be returned to the donors.
If you wish to donate specifically for this project, please use the donation link below. For general purpose donations, please proceed here.
For direct bank transfer, please use the following banking information:
|Name on the Bank Account:||LEGATUM HOMEOPATHICUM|
|Foundation address:||Hrušková 28/A, 836 01 Bratislava, Slovakia|
|Bank Name:||FIO BANKA, A.S.|
|Bank Address:||Nám. SNP 21, 811 01 Bratislava, Slovakia|
|Bank Account number:||2900308392|
|BIC / SWIFT Code:||FIOZSKBAXXX|
|IBAN:||SK94 8330 0000 0029 0030 8392|
In the message to the recipient, make sure to state PROJECT OBJREP or something similar indicating you wish to support this particular project.
Hi, I feel a perfect software for homeopathy repertorization is the one which gives the same drug simillimum when repertorized using every set of valid rubrics based on PQRS or otherwise.Similarly,any PQRS based simillimum must be naturally the same as any other rubric set or totality based simillimum.If it gives different simillimum when repertorized,I feel the system is not in order. What is your comment on teh subject? Thanks.
I am sorry, I cannot understand the meaning of what you have written. What are you referring to in “using every set of valid rubrics”. I am unaware of any “sets” used in repertorization. What do you mean by PQRS? Physician Quality Reporting System? What does it have to do with repertorization?
I understand that disease progresses in a person -cells to tissue ,then to organ ,to the body as a whole.Now depending on at what stage the person is treated,he may have got problems in many of his tissues/organs.When one repertorises the rubrics collected from various organs,most often one may reach at one Simillimum ,which is far from the real one representing the whole case(of course totality principle is said to give the most appropriate Simillimum).The patient may get reduction in the symptoms for which medicine was given ,with aggravation at other point. Such limitation is one of the most undesirable aspects in Homeopathy. PQRS means “peculiar,queer,rare symptoms”.
Also a good article on this topic: http://www.legatum.sk/en:ahr:lippe-ad-pathological-conditions-no-indication-of-treatment-158-10563
Well, pathology should not be a basis of treatment, so it's no wonder the results are far from spectacular. To quote C. Dunham, “Very many Homoeopathists have so far deviated from Hahnemann's method as to endeavor to blend, with the use of his doses and remedies, an application of pathology as a basis of treatment. This endeavor can never be successful, inasmuch as the function of pathology is to furnish, not an indication for medical treatment, but simply a means of elucidating and collating the symptoms. The result has been a sad falling off from the standard of success in practice which was established by Hahnemann and his pupils.” Read more here: http://www.legatum.sk/en:ahr:dunham-c-the-basis-of-treatment-158-10435
Sir, I am sorry for being late! I didn't mean to say that one is to take pathology as a basis for finding Simillimum in a particular case. I was trying to explain the complexities when a disease progresses,becoming a long drawn 'chronic' case,affecting many tissues/organs.In such instance,in general we find that when rubrics of each of the organs are repertorised,we may get different Simillima.That is why when number of rubrics increases,we get an inappropriate Simillimum in classical homeopathy,making the person long for a cure inordinately.In fact,homeopathy seems to have failed over the years,becuase of the long time scale for a cure. It is time now to adopt a new protocol based on the classical homeopathy for a faster cure.I find that there may be many possibilities for the same. It appears that it is time for change in the principles of homeopathy,if there is due justification. Making the system fool proof and quick in healing a person than continuing with approach must be the criterion in a following the system,thus giving teh father of homeopathy'his due'.
Sir, but in fact you ARE saying we should take pathology as a basis for finding the remedy. The organs which are affected by tissue changes are of little to no use in selecting the curative remedy, so they should be given the least consideration. The remedy should be selected on the basis of TOTALITY OF CHARACTERISTIC SYMPTOMS, which is not nearly the same as taking ALL the symptoms of the case and trying to find a remedy based on that. If you repertorise ANY case which presents more than 15 or so symptoms, you are STATISTICALLY bound to arrive at one of the polychrests such as Sulph., Phos., Lyc., Calc. etc. which, however, will not help, if selected on this basis, hence the failure you are writing about. Similia similibus curantur is generally poorly understood by homeopaths, although it seems clear and self-evident. Study the writings and cases of old masters, study materia medica and perhaps you'll learn better ways which will not disappoint you. It is not necessary to reform homeopathy, homeopaths are those in need of transformation, by connecting with the ROOTS of Hahnemann's teachings, which connection, unfortunately, seems to be lost for many.
The comment given in the quotes below was sent as a reply email by mistake.I doubt it has been seen by you.
“Again,I don't/didn't say pathology should be taken as a basis for finding the Simillimum. Different calculators designed/manufactured by different companies are generally expected to give the same answers for sums.Suppose,the calculators give different answers for the same sums!.That means in-appropriate logic used in a design may lead to a wrong answer. Masters in homeopathy used repertories without any pre-correction to arrive at Simillimum. Then often the most probable Simillimum was among a few drugs arrived at.Now with technology at our command,we use many precorrections and get many more as teh most probable Simillimum. That means there are are some logical errors-either in repertory(the proving as well),materia medica or the software. My point is simple ! Any system of medicine must heal the patient,reducing their misery within a shortest time possible.Now I find that many patients stop their treatment after a period,because of the time lag in getting a reduction in suffering. Let us take the case of a patient with multi-organ problems.Basically,homeopathic Simillimum specificity is based on the 'modalities'(conditions or qualifications) of the rubric or symptom. When we repertorize a set of symptoms/rubrics of a patient with respect to every organ,we generally have to normalize a Simillimum based on the most important(serious/ characteristic!) symptom.This often leads to aggravation of the problems in other organs.The patient in confusion stops homeopathic treatment or goes back to conventional approach. Of course,acute case is easier and is often successful,but chronic case is found to be a mess. I feel that some of the following aspects may require more scrutiny for a successful homeopathic treatment protocol. a)Every homeopathic medicine is a mixture,complex in itself rather than a single entity(of course ,other than element based medicine.Here again,I understand that homeopathic drugs made from metals /elements are made from elements with a little impurities.).This is against one principle of the homopathy-Use of single drug . b)An option to repertorize organ wise symptoms/rubrics and to select the Simillimum/s as appropriate,if necessary using more than one Simillimum or/and merge all such organ wise symptoms/rubrics to find Totality based Simillimum appropriately.On a rule of thumb,in such a case,it is easy to study the repertorization process and the diseased organ status v/s the patient. c)Reproving the modalities/characteristic symptoms of many drugs(Some drugs are listed with certain modalities,but are found curing opposite modalities!). d)Reformating the repertories /MM/software,etc ,with rationalized symptoms/rubrics(Many modalities are not found to be appropriately graded, in order,etc). e)At any point of time,option exists to find the drug relationship with respect to every drug/Simillimum you find/get during the repertorization process to simplify the follow up prescription/learn the prognosis. Now the patients run from homeopathists because of the duration of the treatment for a reduced suffering/better & quicker cure,at least for the time being. Homeopath has to absorb new concepts/approaches to cure the patient quickly,accordingly homeopathy is to change appropriately to make it as a science.Now homeopathy seems to work as a faith ,but not as science.Homeopath now is found to try to change without changing homeopathy,there lies the problem. In fact,homeopaths should collect data of patients treated and cured,duration of treatment,etc to establish it as a successful medical approach. But I congratulate you for taking up the cause of homeopathy. So much so far!:
Sir, I cannot escape the impression you are not reading my replies very carefully.
You are making many assumptions about homeopathy that are simply not true. You take your IDEA of homeopathy and proceed to identify various problems and propose solutions thereof. The culprit is, YOUR idea of homeopathy is different from homeopathy as defined by Hahnemann, as I have tried to point out in my previous replies.
Your claim that homeopathy does not work very well and patients are seeking other treatments cannot be generalized as valid for all homeopathic practitioners. Homeopathy is difficult to practice with high level of success, therefore the results of homeopathic treatment are as various as abilities of their practitioners. When provided a simple well-defined case, less than a quarter of homeopaths were able to find the remedy – see http://www.legatum.sk/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi/archive/lhgen/20130227092541/ And I think it is safe to assume, the success in practical cases is much less than this number.
Based on these FACTS, I can only repeat my opinion, that homeopaths, not homeopathy, are in need of reform. Object Repertory would serve as a great tool for this, structuring the mass of available homeopathic data in such a way that would make search for the curative remedy a lot more simple.
Regarding your more valid point a) (Every homeopathic medicine is a mixture.), I answer this: It has been found out little impurities have no effect on the quality of the medicine and their influence decreases as the potentization continues. I recommend reading the article by B.F. Joslin, that may answer some concerns on this topic: http://www.legatum.sk/en:ahr:joslin-bf-impurities-of-an-attenuating-liquid-158-10532
Short, sweet, to the point, FREE-exactly as informtiaon should be!
Sir, I feel that you understand my point of view and then present it other way.Any way I am happy you have come closer to what I said to certain extent!. Pl note that my views are based on the published data on homeopathy. I believe homeopathy is equally or more scientific than modern medicine's approach of treatment,based on its principles, thus making no assumption of it. Coming to homeopath and homeopthy,I was trying to bring the same point expressed by you.A single homeopath's failure in treating a case is easily rejected as his error of judgement or otherwise.But many homeopaths failure is something of a concern.Here none can argue it is because of difficulty in practicing homeopathy.That means system needs a standardisation.This is the basis of scientific approach. Now why homeopathy is termed as 'placebo'system by some? How homeopathy as system of medical treatment is to be established for universal acceptance.It can only be done by producing positive convincing results,reducing the patient's suffering and healing,within a reasonable time period,which is statistically relevant.Every homeopathy seems to publish data of their success by giving the last stage of medication.None is found to give details of the treatment from the day one of consultation to the end of healing. Anyway let us hope it improves over a period(even after 200+ years change is very marginal!). Main principle of homeopathy is Similia Similibus Curentur. Homeopathic drug is proved by reverse logic by the symptoms/rubrics produced in healthy persons. Thus,an actual Similimum produces an aggravation in a patient. How this can be explained? For ex.,a healthy person produces certain set of symptoms/rubrics(aggravation) corresponding to the drug he has taken,in intensity depending on the dose and potency. Then naturally,a patient must show aggravation of symptoms/rubrics depending on the dose and potency proportional to the intensity of patient's original symptoms!. Thus an aggravation per se is not necessarily a prime criterion for being the patient's true Similimum. It is possible that aggravation may happen if the medicine's potency and dose exceeds that of the intensity of patient's disease symptoms/rubrics. Now on an average,potency rating of many homeopathic drugs available is not the same as the value labelled. Coming to medicine as mixture,please note that if a mixture is potentized,the mixture will form a drug of major component of a low potency and minor component of a high potency.Then,homeopathically,it is not right to say that such potentized drug influence decreases!.What will be the effect of a mixture of equal quantities of a drug X of potency 200c and another drug Y of potency 6c or 6x?. Pl think over. So,finally my point was that success of any system depends on the tools one uses.If the tool itself is not correct,then what happens. Our aim must be to reduce the suffering of the patient,thus reducing the time period of healing and aggravation of the symptoms in patient. Thus I feel that you,being an enterprising committed person in improving the homeopathic system, should try to make appropriate protocol/s in homeopathic practice.