Simple tricks for improving pattern-based information extraction from the biomedical literature

Quang L. Nguyen, Domonkos Tikk, Ulf Leser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Pattern-based approaches to relation extraction have shown very good results in many areas of biomedical text mining. However, defining the right set of patterns is difficult; approaches are either manual, incurring high cost, or automatic, often resulting in large sets of noisy patterns.Results: We propose several techniques for filtering sets of automatically generated patterns and analyze their effectiveness for different extraction tasks, as defined in the recent BioNLP 2009 shared task. We focus on simple methods that only take into account the complexity of the pattern and the complexity of the texts the patterns are applied to. We show that our techniques, despite their simplicity, yield large improvements in all tasks we analyzed. For instance, they raise the F-score for the task of extraction gene expression events from 24.8% to 51.9%.Conclusions: Already very simple filtering techniques may improve the F-score of an information extraction method based on automatically generated patterns significantly. Furthermore, the application of such methods yields a considerable speed-up, as fewer matches need to be analysed. Due to their simplicity, the proposed filtering techniques also should be applicable to other methods using linguistic patterns for information extraction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalJournal of Biomedical Semantics
Publication statusPublished - Sep 24 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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