SCIENTIA SINICA Informationis, Volume 48 , Issue 11 : 1546-1557(2018) https://doi.org/10.1360/N112018-00210

Disease name recognition based on syntactic and semantic features

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  • ReceivedAug 10, 2018
  • AcceptedSep 19, 2018
  • PublishedNov 14, 2018


Biomedical entity recognition (such as genes, proteins, chemicals, diseases, etc.) is the foundation of biomedical text mining, which plays a significant role in extracting biomedical entity relations and constructing biomedical knowledge bases. To deal with existing issues of the current disease name recognition systems, this paper proposes a series of new syntactic and semantic features to improve disease name recognition. The syntactic features include chunk and dependency information, while the semantic features include the disease abbreviation form, its dictionary entry form, and hyponymy relationships between disease concepts. Experiments over the NCBI disease corpus show the CRF model, combined with these syntactic and semantic features, can significantly improve the state-of-the-art performance of disease entity recognition, achieving an F1 score of 85.3%.

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  • Figure 1

    Dependency parse tree

  • Table 1   Lexical features for disease name recognition
    Word POS Stem Lemma Affix Context
    Rheumatic JJ rheumat Rheumatic R, Rh, Rhe, c, ic, tic for, Diseases
    Diseases NN diseas Disease D, Di, Dis, s, es, ses Rheumatic, database
  • Table 2   Chunk features
    Feature name Feature type Feature meaning
    Chunk SBIEO Chunking tag of the current word
  • Table 3   Dependency features
    Feature name Feature type Feature meaning
    Dependency String Headword of the current word
  • Table 4   Syntactic feature set
    Word Chunk feature Dependency feature
    Twins S-NP be
    with S-PP Twin
    AS S-NP with
    were B-VP be
    identified E-VP be
    from S-PP identify
  • Table 5   Abbreviation feature set
    Feature name Feature type Feature meaning
    IS_ABB Binary Whether the current word is an abbreviation
    IS_SF Binary Whether the short form of the abbreviation is the name of a disease
    IS_LF Binary Whether the long form of the abbreviation is the name of a disease
    Headword String Headword of the long form in the abbreviation
  • Table 6   The feature set of semantic code
    Feature name Feature type Feature meaning
    MEDIC SBIEO Whether the current word sequence appears in MEDIC
    MeSH SBIE+NONE Classification code of the current word sequence in MeSH tree
  • Table 7   Semantic feature set
    Word Abbreviation features Semantic code features Tag
    Twins 0, 0, 0, None O, S-M01.438.873 O
    with 0, 0, 0, None O, NONE O
    AS 1, 1, 1, spondylitis S_Disease, NONE S_Disease
    were 0, 0, 0, None O, NONE O
    identified 0, 0, 0, None O, NONE O
    from 0, 0, 0, None O, NONE O
    the 0, 0, 0, None O, NONE O
    Royal 0, 0, 0, None O, NONE O
    National 0, 0, 0, None O, NONE O
    Hospital 0, 0, 0, None O, NONE O
    for 0, 0, 0, None O, NONE O
    Rheumatic 0, 0, 0, None B_Disease, B-C17.300.775 B_Disease
    Disease 0, 0, 0, None E_Disease, E-C17.300.775 E_Disease
    database 0, 0, 0, None O, S-V02.300 O
  • Table 8   NCBI dataset
    Statistics Train set Dev. set Test set
    Abstracts 593 100 100
    Sentences 5818 958 1080
    Entities 5145 787 960
  • Table 9   Performance contributions of syntactic and semantic feature sets
    Features $P$ (%) $R$ (%) $F1$ (%)
    Baseline 86.16 78.44 82.12
    +Chunk 86.10 79.38 82.60
    +Dependency 87.05 79.79 83.26
    +Abbreviation 87.35 81.52 84.19
    +Semantic_codes 87.43 83.33 85.33
  • Table 10   Performance contributions of abbreviation features
    Features $P$ (%) $R$ (%) $F1$ (%)
    Baseline+SYN 87.05 79.79 83.26
    +IS_ABB 87.02 81.04 83.93
    +IS_SF 86.27 81.15 83.63
    +IS_LF 86.98 80.73 83.74
    +Headword 87.35 81.25 84.19
  • Table 11   Performance contributions of semantic features
    Features $P$ (%) $R$ (%) $F1$ (%)
    Baseline+SYN+ABB 87.35 81.25 84.19
    +MEDIC 87.23 83.23 85.18
    +MeSH 87.43 83.33 85.33
  • Table 12   Performance comparison with the state-of-the-art systems
    Systems Methods $P$ (%) $R$ (%) $F1$ (%)
    BANNER [11] CRF 82.2 77.5 79.8
    TaggerOne [14] Joint Learning 85.1 80.8 82.9
    Lou et al. [15] Joint Learning 90.7 74.9 82.1
    Sahu et al. [19] Bi-LSTM 84.9 74.1 79.1
    D3NER [23] Bi-LSTM-CRF 85.0 83.8 84.4
    Ours CRF 87.4 83.3 85.3

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