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1.  Evaluating the state of the art in coreference resolution for electronic medical records 
Background
The fifth i2b2/VA Workshop on Natural Language Processing Challenges for Clinical Records conducted a systematic review on resolution of noun phrase coreference in medical records. Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside (i2b2) and the Veterans Affair (VA) Consortium for Healthcare Informatics Research (CHIR) partnered to organize the coreference challenge. They provided the research community with two corpora of medical records for the development and evaluation of the coreference resolution systems. These corpora contained various record types (ie, discharge summaries, pathology reports) from multiple institutions.
Methods
The coreference challenge provided the community with two annotated ground truth corpora and evaluated systems on coreference resolution in two ways: first, it evaluated systems for their ability to identify mentions of concepts and to link together those mentions. Second, it evaluated the ability of the systems to link together ground truth mentions that refer to the same entity. Twenty teams representing 29 organizations and nine countries participated in the coreference challenge.
Results
The teams' system submissions showed that machine-learning and rule-based approaches worked best when augmented with external knowledge sources and coreference clues extracted from document structure. The systems performed better in coreference resolution when provided with ground truth mentions. Overall, the systems struggled in solving coreference resolution for cases that required domain knowledge.
doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2011-000784
PMCID: PMC3422835  PMID: 22366294
2.  Computational Semantics in Clinical Text Supplement 
Biomedical Informatics Insights  2013;6(Suppl 1):1-2.
doi:10.4137/BII.S11868
PMCID: PMC3702198  PMID: 23847421
3.  What’s In a Note: Construction of a Suicide Note Corpus 
This paper reports on the results of an initiative to create and annotate a corpus of suicide notes that can be used for machine learning. Ultimately, the corpus included 1,278 notes that were written by someone who died by suicide. Each note was reviewed by at least three annotators who mapped words or sentences to a schema of emotions. This corpus has already been used for extensive scientific research.
doi:10.4137/BII.S10213
PMCID: PMC3500150  PMID: 23170067
natural language processing; computational linguistics; corpus; suicide
4.  Sentiment Analysis of Suicide Notes: A Shared Task 
Biomedical informatics insights  2012;5(Suppl 1):3-16.
This paper reports on a shared task involving the assignment of emotions to suicide notes. Two features distinguished this task from previous shared tasks in the biomedical domain. One is that it resulted in the corpus of fully anonymized clinical text and annotated suicide notes. This resource is permanently available and will (we hope) facilitate future research. The other key feature of the task is that it required categorization with respect to a large set of labels. The number of participants was larger than in any previous biomedical challenge task. We describe the data production process and the evaluation measures, and give a preliminary analysis of the results. Many systems performed at levels approaching the inter-coder agreement, suggesting that human-like performance on this task is within the reach of currently available technologies.
PMCID: PMC3299408  PMID: 22419877
Sentiment analysis; suicide; suicide notes; natural language processing; computational linguistics; shared task; challenge 2011
5.  Suicide Note Classification Using Natural Language Processing: A Content Analysis 
Biomedical informatics insights  2010;2010(3):19-28.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 25–34 year olds and the third leading cause of death among 15–25 year olds in the United States. In the Emergency Department, where suicidal patients often present, estimating the risk of repeated attempts is generally left to clinical judgment. This paper presents our second attempt to determine the role of computational algorithms in understanding a suicidal patient’s thoughts, as represented by suicide notes. We focus on developing methods of natural language processing that distinguish between genuine and elicited suicide notes. We hypothesize that machine learning algorithms can categorize suicide notes as well as mental health professionals and psychiatric physician trainees do. The data used are comprised of suicide notes from 33 suicide completers and matched to 33 elicited notes from healthy control group members. Eleven mental health professionals and 31 psychiatric trainees were asked to decide if a note was genuine or elicited. Their decisions were compared to nine different machine-learning algorithms. The results indicate that trainees accurately classified notes 49% of the time, mental health professionals accurately classified notes 63% of the time, and the best machine learning algorithm accurately classified the notes 78% of the time. This is an important step in developing an evidence-based predictor of repeated suicide attempts because it shows that natural language processing can aid in distinguishing between classes of suicidal notes.
PMCID: PMC3107011  PMID: 21643548
suicide; suicide prediction; suicide notes; machine learning
6.  Neurolinguistic Approach to Natural Language Processing with Applications to Medical Text Analysis 
Understanding written or spoken language presumably involves spreading neural activation in the brain. This process may be approximated by spreading activation in semantic networks, providing enhanced representations that involve concepts that are not found directly in the text. Approximation of this process is of great practical and theoretical interest. Although activations of neural circuits involved in representation of words rapidly change in time snapshots of these activations spreading through associative networks may be captured in a vector model. Concepts of similar type activate larger clusters of neurons, priming areas in the left and right hemisphere. Analysis of recent brain imaging experiments shows the importance of the right hemisphere non-verbal clusterization. Medical ontologies enable development of a large-scale practical algorithm to re-create pathways of spreading neural activations. First concepts of specific semantic type are identified in the text, and then all related concepts of the same type are added to the text, providing expanded representations. To avoid rapid growth of the extended feature space after each step only the most useful features that increase document clusterization are retained. Short hospital discharge summaries are used to illustrate how this process works on a real, very noisy data. Expanded texts show significantly improved clustering and may be classified with much higher accuracy. Although better approximations to the spreading of neural activations may be devised a practical approach presented in this paper helps to discover pathways used by the brain to process specific concepts, and may be used in large-scale applications.
doi:10.1016/j.neunet.2008.05.008
PMCID: PMC2633093  PMID: 18614334
Natural language processing; Semantic networks; Spreading activation networks; Medical ontologies; vector models in NLP
7.  Personalizing Drug Selection Using Advanced Clinical Decision Support 
This article describes the process of developing an advanced pharmacogenetics clinical decision support at one of the United States’ leading pediatric academic medical centers. This system, called CHRISTINE, combines clinical and genetic data to identify the optimal drug therapy when treating patients with epilepsy or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In the discussion a description of clinical decision support systems is provided, along with an overview of neurocognitive computing and how it is applied in this setting.
PMCID: PMC2773552  PMID: 19898682
8.  Themes in biomedical natural language processing: BioNLP08 
BMC Bioinformatics  2008;9(Suppl 11):S1.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-9-S11-S1
PMCID: PMC2586759  PMID: 19025685

Results 1-9 (9)