The Application of Directed Graphs to Clinical Development

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Ian Fleming



Directed graphs are widely used in technology companies throughout the world to allow users to better find and make use of relevant information. Prominent examples of this are Google’s Knowledge Graph and Facebook Graph, both of which provide valuable context related to the world around us. This same technology can provide new insight that would facilitate better understanding of the data we deal with every day. It would also make clinical development faster and cheaper, with associated improvements in quality and accessibility. To this point, directed graphs have not been adopted in the clinical development space to the point where its value can be seen through the significant technical hurdles they present. This is understandable under current, commonly held mindsets, and will require a shift in thinking to turn theory into reality. The philosophy behind directed graphs, practical applications to clinical development, and potential strategies to encourage wider adoption of infrastructure based on graph concepts will be discussed.