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Disambiguation of biomedical text using diverse sources of information

Stevenson, M., Guo, Y., Gaizauskas, R. and Martinez, D. (2008) Disambiguation of biomedical text using diverse sources of information. BMC Bioinformatics, 9 (Suppl ). S7. ISSN 1471-2105

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Like text in other domains, biomedical documents contain a range of terms with more than one possible meaning. These ambiguities form a significant obstacle to the automatic processing of biomedical texts. Previous approaches to resolving this problem have made use of various sources of information including linguistic features of the context in which the ambiguous term is used and domain-specific resources, such as UMLS.


We compare various sources of information including ones which have been previously used and a novel one: MeSH terms. Evaluation is carried out using a standard test set (the NLM-WSD corpus).


The best performance is obtained using a combination of linguistic features and MeSH terms. Performance of our system exceeds previously published results for systems evaluated using the same data set.


Disambiguation of biomedical terms benefits from the use of information from a variety of sources. In particular, MeSH terms have proved to be useful and should be used if available.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2008 Stevenson et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Engineering (Sheffield) > Department of Computer Science (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Sheffield Import
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2009 11:54
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2009 11:55
Published Version: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2105/9/S11/S7
Status: Published
Publisher: BioMed Central
Identification Number: 10.1186/1471-2105-9-S11-S7
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9748

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