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1.  A method for integrating and ranking the evidence for biochemical pathways by mining reactions from text 
Bioinformatics  2013;29(13):i44-i52.
Motivation: To create, verify and maintain pathway models, curators must discover and assess knowledge distributed over the vast body of biological literature. Methods supporting these tasks must understand both the pathway model representations and the natural language in the literature. These methods should identify and order documents by relevance to any given pathway reaction. No existing system has addressed all aspects of this challenge.
Method: We present novel methods for associating pathway model reactions with relevant publications. Our approach extracts the reactions directly from the models and then turns them into queries for three text mining-based MEDLINE literature search systems. These queries are executed, and the resulting documents are combined and ranked according to their relevance to the reactions of interest. We manually annotate document-reaction pairs with the relevance of the document to the reaction and use this annotation to study several ranking methods, using various heuristic and machine-learning approaches.
Results: Our evaluation shows that the annotated document-reaction pairs can be used to create a rule-based document ranking system, and that machine learning can be used to rank documents by their relevance to pathway reactions. We find that a Support Vector Machine-based system outperforms several baselines and matches the performance of the rule-based system. The success of the query extraction and ranking methods are used to update our existing pathway search system, PathText.
Availability: An online demonstration of PathText 2 and the annotated corpus are available for research purposes at
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
PMCID: PMC3694679  PMID: 23813008
2.  Event extraction across multiple levels of biological organization 
Bioinformatics  2012;28(18):i575-i581.
Motivation: Event extraction using expressive structured representations has been a significant focus of recent efforts in biomedical information extraction. However, event extraction resources and methods have so far focused almost exclusively on molecular-level entities and processes, limiting their applicability.
Results: We extend the event extraction approach to biomedical information extraction to encompass all levels of biological organization from the molecular to the whole organism. We present the ontological foundations, target types and guidelines for entity and event annotation and introduce the new multi-level event extraction (MLEE) corpus, manually annotated using a structured representation for event extraction. We further adapt and evaluate named entity and event extraction methods for the new task, demonstrating that both can be achieved with performance broadly comparable with that for established molecular entity and event extraction tasks.
Availability: The resources and methods introduced in this study are available from
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
PMCID: PMC3436834  PMID: 22962484
3.  Boosting automatic event extraction from the literature using domain adaptation and coreference resolution 
Bioinformatics  2012;28(13):1759-1765.
Motivation: In recent years, several biomedical event extraction (EE) systems have been developed. However, the nature of the annotated training corpora, as well as the training process itself, can limit the performance levels of the trained EE systems. In particular, most event-annotated corpora do not deal adequately with coreference. This impacts on the trained systems' ability to recognize biomedical entities, thus affecting their performance in extracting events accurately. Additionally, the fact that most EE systems are trained on a single annotated corpus further restricts their coverage.
Results: We have enhanced our existing EE system, EventMine, in two ways. First, we developed a new coreference resolution (CR) system and integrated it with EventMine. The standalone performance of our CR system in resolving anaphoric references to proteins is considerably higher than the best ranked system in the COREF subtask of the BioNLP'11 Shared Task. Secondly, the improved EventMine incorporates domain adaptation (DA) methods, which extend EE coverage by allowing several different annotated corpora to be used during training. Combined with a novel set of methods to increase the generality and efficiency of EventMine, the integration of both CR and DA have resulted in significant improvements in EE, ranging between 0.5% and 3.4% F-Score. The enhanced EventMine outperforms the highest ranked systems from the BioNLP'09 shared task, and from the GENIA and Infectious Diseases subtasks of the BioNLP'11 shared task.
Availability: The improved version of EventMine, incorporating the CR system and DA methods, is available at:
PMCID: PMC3381963  PMID: 22539668
4.  Discovering and visualizing indirect associations between biomedical concepts 
Bioinformatics  2011;27(13):i111-i119.
Motivation: Discovering useful associations between biomedical concepts has been one of the main goals in biomedical text-mining, and understanding their biomedical contexts is crucial in the discovery process. Hence, we need a text-mining system that helps users explore various types of (possibly hidden) associations in an easy and comprehensible manner.
Results: This article describes FACTA+, a real-time text-mining system for finding and visualizing indirect associations between biomedical concepts from MEDLINE abstracts. The system can be used as a text search engine like PubMed with additional features to help users discover and visualize indirect associations between important biomedical concepts such as genes, diseases and chemical compounds. FACTA+ inherits all functionality from its predecessor, FACTA, and extends it by incorporating three new features: (i) detecting biomolecular events in text using a machine learning model, (ii) discovering hidden associations using co-occurrence statistics between concepts, and (iii) visualizing associations to improve the interpretability of the output. To the best of our knowledge, FACTA+ is the first real-time web application that offers the functionality of finding concepts involving biomolecular events and visualizing indirect associations of concepts with both their categories and importance.
Availability: FACTA+ is available as a web application at, and its visualizer is available at
PMCID: PMC3117364  PMID: 21685059

Results 1-4 (4)