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Artif Intell Med. 2016 Nov;74:9-20. doi: 10.1016/j.artmed.2016.11.002. Epub 2016 Nov 18.

Web-video-mining-supported workflow modeling for laparoscopic surgeries.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401,USA.



As quality assurance is of strong concern in advanced surgeries, intelligent surgical systems are expected to have knowledge such as the knowledge of the surgical workflow model (SWM) to support their intuitive cooperation with surgeons. For generating a robust and reliable SWM, a large amount of training data is required. However, training data collected by physically recording surgery operations is often limited and data collection is time-consuming and labor-intensive, severely influencing knowledge scalability of the surgical systems.


The objective of this research is to solve the knowledge scalability problem in surgical workflow modeling with a low cost and labor efficient way.


A novel web-video-mining-supported surgical workflow modeling (webSWM) method is developed. A novel video quality analysis method based on topic analysis and sentiment analysis techniques is developed to select high-quality videos from abundant and noisy web videos. A statistical learning method is then used to build the workflow model based on the selected videos. To test the effectiveness of the webSWM method, 250 web videos were mined to generate a surgical workflow for the robotic cholecystectomy surgery. The generated workflow was evaluated by 4 web-retrieved videos and 4 operation-room-recorded videos, respectively.


The evaluation results (video selection consistency n-index ≥0.60; surgical workflow matching degree ≥0.84) proved the effectiveness of the webSWM method in generating robust and reliable SWM knowledge by mining web videos.


With the webSWM method, abundant web videos were selected and a reliable SWM was modeled in a short time with low labor cost. Satisfied performances in mining web videos and learning surgery-related knowledge show that the webSWM method is promising in scaling knowledge for intelligent surgical systems.


Laparoscopic surgery; Sentiment analysis; Surgical workflow modeling; Topic modeling; Web video mining

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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