The use of biomedical ontologies is increasing, especially in the context of health systems interoperability. Ontologies are key pieces to understand the semantics of information exchanged. However, given the diversity of biomedical ontologies, it is essential to develop tools that support harmonization processes amongst them. Several algorithms and tools are proposed by computer scientist for partially supporting ontology harmonization. However, these tools face several problems, especially in the biomedical domain where ontologies are large and complex. In the harmonization process, matching is a basic task. This paper explains the different ontology harmonization processes, analyzes existing matching tools, and proposes a prototype of an ontology harmonization service. The results demonstrate that there are many open issues in the field of biomedical ontology harmonization, such as: overcoming structural discrepancies between ontologies; the lack of semantic algorithms to automate the process; the low matching efficiency of existing algorithms; and the use of domain and top level ontologies in the matching process.
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