NICHE Research Group

The NICHE (kNowledge Intensive Computing for Healthcare Enterprises) Research Group conducts research in advancing knowledge technologies and developing innovative knowledge-intensive solutions, in particular for healthcare enterprises.

The NICHE group both promotes and pursues inter-disciplinary research whereby the group's investigations span from the abstract epistemological orientations of knowledge to the capture and representation of knowledge to practical operationalization of knowledge via intelligent systems.

Group Website:
Contact Information:
Tel: 1-902-494-2129
Fax: 1-902-492-1517
Research Areas and

The wide spectrum of activities conducted in NICHE group falls in the realm of four inter-related research areas:
1. Knowledge Management and Semantic Web
2. Health Informatics
3. Intelligent Information and Services Personalization
4. Health Data Mining

NICHE researchers work across a cross-section of the above-mentioned themes, developing both novel knowledge-centric methods and applying these methods in knowledge-intensive tools. Currently, the researchers are working towards the development of a knowledge creation, morphing and sharing framework for capturing and operationalizing heterogeneous knowledge modalities present within an enterprise; the development and application of intelligent techniques to customize web-based services and information content as per a user-model; the formal computerization of healthcare knowledge artifacts to offer point-of-care decision support services; and the application of knowledge and data-driven intelligent systems to provide innovative healthcare services for both practitioners and patients. Details of individual projects can be found at the individual researcher's websites. Our research projects are largely funded by government agencies, private organizations and industry.

Funding: The NICHE projects have been funded by CANARIE, National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Foundation of Innovation (CFI), Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF), Green Shield Foundation Canada and Agfa Healthcare Canada.
Faculty Members: Dr. Raza Abidi
Graduate Students and
Research Assistants:

1. Syed Sajjad Hussain, Ph.D., K-Morph: Knowledge Morphing via Reconciliation of Contextualized Sub-Ontologies.
2. Borna Jafarpour, Ph.D., A Semantic Web Based Healthcare Knowledge Management Framework to Computerize and Operationalize Health Knowledge.
3. Ali Daniyal, Ph.D., Investigating Semantic Web Technologies for Workflow Modelling.
4. Philip Yeo, Ph.D., Dynamic Workflow Composition of Semantic Web Services.
5. Wong Mei Kuan, Ph.D., Ontology Learning for Ocean and Marine Sciences.
6. Zeina Chedrawy, Ph.D., Semantic Web Framework for Business Intelligence.
7. Farhan Jamal Khan, Ph.D., Personalized Care Planning.
8. Samuel Stewart, IDPhD, Analyzing and Designing a Web 2.0 based Knowledge Translation Framework for Pediatric Pain Management.
9. Muzammil Bashir Ahmed, IDPhD, A Semantic Web Framework for Knowledge Modeling to Handle Co-Morbidities.
10. Krista Elvidge, IDPhD, A Lifelong Patient Educational Intervention Program: Investigating the Role of Behavioural Models.
11. Calvino Cheng, IDPhD, Abstracting Clinical Pathways from Laboratory Information Data.
12. Joyline Makani, IDPhD, Knowledge Management in Knowledge Intensive Organizations: Towards an Integrated Model for Organizing Corporate Knowledge and Information Sources.

1. Faisal Abbas, MCSc, Discovery of Clinical Concepts to Annotate Clinical Guidelines.
2. Reza Fathzadeh, MCSc, Data Cleansing for Medical Documents.
3. Ali Haider Zaidi, MHI, A OWL ontology for Modelling HL-7 compliant Electronic Patient Records.
4. Syed Alay Hassan, MHI, Designing Personalized Patient Education Using Clinical Guidelines.
5. Salah Hussani, MCSc, Web 2.0 for Knowledge Sharing for a Paediatric Pain Community.
6. Farrukh Mehdi, MCSc, OWL-S based Service Ontology for an E-Research Platform.
7. Shirin Sharif, MHI, Designing an Adaptive CarePlan for Personalized Patient Planning.

Alumni and Past Projects:

1. Ryan Druggan, MCSc, Clinical Knowledge Modeling to Develop E-Clinics for Neuropituary Care, April 2010.
2. Brett Taylor, MCSc, Interactive Syndromic Surveillance Using Visualization Techniques, August 2009.
3. Muzammil Bashir Ahmed, MCSc, Ontology Modeling for Nursing Care Plans and Clinical Practice Guidelines, April 2009.
4. Shapoor Shayegani, MCSc, Knowledge Modeling to Develop a Clinical Practice Guideline Ontology: Towards Computerization and Merging of Clinical Practice Guidelines, September 2007.
5. Katrina Hurley, MCSc, Practice-Oriented Knowledge Abstraction in Development of an Ontology to Model Clinical Pathways, May 2007.
6. Philip O'Brien, MCSc, Semantic Web Approach for Context-Aware Knowledge Sharing, March 2007.
7. Selana Davis, MHI, Personalization of Cardiovascular Risk Management Using Linkages of SCORE and Behaviour Change Readiness to Web-based Education, August 2006.
8. Aliko Mwakatobe, MCSc, Information Personalization on the Semantic Web Using Reasoning, August 2006.
9. Yan Zeng, MCSc, Pursuing Information Personalization as a Constraint Satisfaction Problem, Dec. 2005
10. Zeina Chedrawy, MCSc, PRECISE: A Hybrid of Item-Based Collaborative Filtering and Case Based Reasoning for Contextual Information Personalization, July 2005.
11. Sanjun Yan, MCSc, Using Unsupervised Learning Methods to Sub-classify Optic Disk Damage Images, April 2005.
12. Xuan Hu, MCSc, Evaluating Discretization Techniques to Discretize Visual Field Data, April 2005.
13. Qingshuang Jiang, MCSc, Discovering Generalized Symbolic Rule from Un-annotated Data: A Hybrid of Rough Sets and Attribute Oriented Induction, April 2005.
14. Jin Yu, MCSc, A Hybrid Feature Selection Method Classifying Optic Nerve Images, April 2005.
15. Brent Jones, MHI, Leveraging Clinical Practice Guidelines to Develop Objective User Models for Customizing Healthcare Information to Manage High Cholesterol, Sept. 2004