RACER: Rule-associated CasE-based reasoning for supporting general practitioners in prescription making

S. L. Ting, W. M. Wang, S. K. Kwok, Albert H.C. Tsang, Wing Bun Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Prescription is an important element in the medical practice. An appropriate drug therapy is complex in which the decision of prescribing is influenced by many factors. Any discrepancy in the prescription making process can lead to serious consequences. In particular, the General Practitioners (GPs), who need to diagnose and treat a wide range of health conditions and diseases, must be knowledgeable enough in deciding what type of medicines should be given to the patients. With the widespread computerization of medical records, GPs now can make use of accumulated historic clinical data in retrieving similar decisions in therapeutic treatment for treating the new situation. However, the applications of decision support tools are rarely found in the prescription domain due to the complex nature of the domain and limitations of the existing tools. It was argued that existing tools can only solve a small amount of the cases on the real world dataset. This paper proposes a new revised Case-based Reasoning (CBR) mechanism, named Rule-Associated CasE-based Reasoning (RACER), which integrates CBR and association rules mining for supporting GPs prescription. It aims at leveraging the two most common techniques in the field and dealing with the complex multiple values solution. Eight hundred real cases from a medical organization are collected and used for evaluating the performance of RACER. The proposed method was also compared with CBR and association rules mining for testing. The results demonstrate that the combination leads to increased in both recall and precision in various settings of parameters. The performance of RACER remains stableby using different sets of parameters, which shows that the most important element of the mechanism is self-determined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8079-8089
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Association rules mining
  • Case-based Reasoning
  • Decision support
  • Hybrid intelligent system
  • Prescription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence

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