Intelligent Information Systems at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals - a Real-World Application of Mediator Technology

Robin A. McEntire
SmithKline Beecham


This talk will provide an overview of work being done at SmithKline Beecham on the use of advanced technologies in support of the drug discovery process. As the amount of scientific knowledge increases and the number of sources where that knowledge may be found proliferates, the drug discovery process relies increasingly on the integration of knowledge from many sources. Mediation technology and ontologies provide a part of the solution, especially for access to and integration of structured information. There is also a great wealth of knowledge housed in unstructured text documents and journals. SmithKline Beecham is interested in building systems in a modular/componentized fashion that take advantage of best-of-breed COTS as well as internally developed components that provide competitive advantage to the organization. In addition, SmithKline Beecham is interested in driving industry standards in componentry and object models, or ontologies, to provide a common platform for the delivery of IT products.


Mr. McEntire has been working in the field of Computer Science for 20 years in a variety of areas. He worked in the area of knowledge representation and reasoning on an early KL-ONE-style system developed at Unisys, applied to the area of configuration of large-scale hardware systems. In addition, Mr. McEntire has worked on a number of I3-style DARPA projects. He was involved with the development of a system providing knowledge-base access to traditional database systems, using the Loom KR system and traditional relational databases. In addition, he led an effort to develop language specifications for KQML (the Knoweldge Query and Manipulation Language) and to provide an implementation of this language for use in a number of different programming environments. Most recently Mr. McEntire has been a member of the Advanced Information Technology group at SmithKline Beecham where he is leading efforts on the development of component-based I3 systems and ontologies.