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Synonym extraction and abbreviation expansion with ensembles of semantic spaces
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
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2014 (English)In: Journal of Biomedical Semantics, ISSN 2041-1480, E-ISSN 2041-1480, Vol. 5, no 6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Terminologies that account for variation in language use by linking synonyms and abbreviations to their corresponding concept are important enablers of high-quality information extraction from medical texts. Due to the use of specialized sub-languages in the medical domain, manual construction of semantic resources that accurately reflect language use is both costly and challenging, often resulting in low coverage. Although models of distributional semantics applied to large corpora provide a potential means of supporting development of such resources, their ability to isolate synonymy from other semantic relations is limited. Their application in the clinical domain has also only recently begun to be explored. Combining distributional models and applying them to different types of corpora may lead to enhanced performance on the tasks of automatically extracting synonyms and abbreviation-expansion pairs. Results: A combination of two distributional models – Random Indexing and Random Permutation – employed in conjunction with a single corpus outperforms using either of the models in isolation. Furthermore, combining semantic spaces induced from different types of corpora – a corpus of clinical text and a corpus of medical journal articles – further improves results, outperforming a combination of semantic spaces induced from a single source, as well as a single semantic space induced from the conjoint corpus. A combination strategy that simply sums the cosine similarity scores of candidate terms is generally the most profitable out of the ones explored. Finally, applying simple post-processing filtering rules yields substantial performance gains on the tasks of extracting abbreviation-expansion pairs, but not synonyms. The best results, measured as recall in a list of ten candidate terms, for the three tasks are: 0.39 for abbreviations to long forms, 0.33 for long forms to abbreviations, and 0.47 for synonyms. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that ensembles of semantic spaces can yield improved performance on the tasks of automatically extracting synonyms and abbreviation-expansion pairs. This notion, which merits further exploration, allows different distributional models – with different model parameters – and different types of corpora to be combined, potentially allowing enhanced performance to be obtained on a wide range of natural language processing tasks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 5, no 6
Keyword [en]
distributional semantics, random indexing, semantic space, ensemble methods, synonym extraction, abbreviation expansion
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108651DOI: 10.1186/2041-1480-5-6ISI: 000343707900002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-108651DiVA: diva2:759844
Available from: 2014-10-31 Created: 2014-10-31 Last updated: 2015-11-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Extracting Clinical Findings from Swedish Health Record Text
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Extracting Clinical Findings from Swedish Health Record Text
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Information contained in the free text of health records is useful for the immediate care of patients as well as for medical knowledge creation. Advances in clinical language processing have made it possible to automatically extract this information, but most research has, until recently, been conducted on clinical text written in English. In this thesis, however, information extraction from Swedish clinical corpora is explored, particularly focusing on the extraction of clinical findings. Unlike most previous studies, Clinical Finding was divided into the two more granular sub-categories Finding (symptom/result of a medical examination) and Disorder (condition with an underlying pathological process). For detecting clinical findings mentioned in Swedish health record text, a machine learning model, trained on a corpus of manually annotated text, achieved results in line with the obtained inter-annotator agreement figures. The machine learning approach clearly outperformed an approach based on vocabulary mapping, showing that Swedish medical vocabularies are not extensive enough for the purpose of high-quality information extraction from clinical text. A rule and cue vocabulary-based approach was, however, successful for negation and uncertainty classification of detected clinical findings. Methods for facilitating expansion of medical vocabulary resources are particularly important for Swedish and other languages with less extensive vocabulary resources. The possibility of using distributional semantics, in the form of Random indexing, for semi-automatic vocabulary expansion of medical vocabularies was, therefore, evaluated. Distributional semantics does not require that terms or abbreviations are explicitly defined in the text, and it is, thereby, a method suitable for clinical corpora. Random indexing was shown useful for extending vocabularies with medical terms, as well as for extracting medical synonyms and abbreviation dictionaries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm University: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2014. 128 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 15-001
Keyword
Named entity recognition, Corpora development, Clinical text processing, Distributional semantics, Random indexing, Vocabulary expansion, Assertion classification, Clinical text mining, Electronic health records, Swedish
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109254 (URN)978-91-7649-054-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-01-23, Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-12-29 Created: 2014-11-17 Last updated: 2014-11-21Bibliographically approved
2. Ensembles of Semantic Spaces: On Combining Models of Distributional Semantics with Applications in Healthcare
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ensembles of Semantic Spaces: On Combining Models of Distributional Semantics with Applications in Healthcare
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Distributional semantics allows models of linguistic meaning to be derived from observations of language use in large amounts of text. By modeling the meaning of words in semantic (vector) space on the basis of co-occurrence information, distributional semantics permits a quantitative interpretation of (relative) word meaning in an unsupervised setting, i.e., human annotations are not required. The ability to obtain inexpensive word representations in this manner helps to alleviate the bottleneck of fully supervised approaches to natural language processing, especially since models of distributional semantics are data-driven and hence agnostic to both language and domain.

All that is required to obtain distributed word representations is a sizeable corpus; however, the composition of the semantic space is not only affected by the underlying data but also by certain model hyperparameters. While these can be optimized for a specific downstream task, there are currently limitations to the extent the many aspects of semantics can be captured in a single model. This dissertation investigates the possibility of capturing multiple aspects of lexical semantics by adopting the ensemble methodology within a distributional semantic framework to create ensembles of semantic spaces. To that end, various strategies for creating the constituent semantic spaces, as well as for combining them, are explored in a number of studies.

The notion of semantic space ensembles is generalizable across languages and domains; however, the use of unsupervised methods is particularly valuable in low-resource settings, in particular when annotated corpora are scarce, as in the domain of Swedish healthcare. The semantic space ensembles are here empirically evaluated for tasks that have promising applications in healthcare. It is shown that semantic space ensembles – created by exploiting various corpora and data types, as well as by adjusting model hyperparameters such as the size of the context window and the strategy for handling word order within the context window – are able to outperform the use of any single constituent model on a range of tasks. The semantic space ensembles are used both directly for k-nearest neighbors retrieval and for semi-supervised machine learning. Applying semantic space ensembles to important medical problems facilitates the secondary use of healthcare data, which, despite its abundance and transformative potential, is grossly underutilized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2015. 95 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 15-021
Keyword
natural language processing, machine learning, distributional semantics, ensemble learning, semantic space ensembles, medical informatics, electronic health records
National Category
Computer Science Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122465 (URN)978-91-7649-302-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-12-17, Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
High-Performance Data Mining for Drug Effect Detection
Funder
Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research , IIS11-0053
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4 and 5: Unpublished conference papers.

Available from: 2015-11-25 Created: 2015-11-02 Last updated: 2015-11-13Bibliographically approved

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Henriksson, AronSkeppstedt, MariaDuneld, Martin
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