Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-17-2017

Publication Title

BMC Bioinformatics

ISSN

1471-2105

Volume

18

Issue

1

First Page

372

Last Page

372

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12859-017-1775-9

PubMed ID

28818042

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Coreference resolution is the task of finding strings in text that have the same referent as other strings. Failures of coreference resolution are a common cause of false negatives in information extraction from the scientific literature. In order to better understand the nature of the phenomenon of coreference in biomedical publications and to increase performance on the task, we annotated the Colorado Richly Annotated Full Text (CRAFT) corpus with coreference relations.

RESULTS: The corpus was manually annotated with coreference relations, including identity and appositives for all coreferring base noun phrases. The OntoNotes annotation guidelines, with minor adaptations, were used. Interannotator agreement ranges from 0.480 (entity-based CEAF) to 0.858 (Class-B3), depending on the metric that is used to assess it. The resulting corpus adds nearly 30,000 annotations to the previous release of the CRAFT corpus. Differences from related projects include a much broader definition of markables, connection to extensive annotation of several domain-relevant semantic classes, and connection to complete syntactic annotation. Tool performance was benchmarked on the data. A publicly available out-of-the-box, general-domain coreference resolution system achieved an F-measure of 0.14 (B3), while a simple domain-adapted rule-based system achieved an F-measure of 0.42. An ensemble of the two reached F of 0.46. Following the IDENTITY chains in the data would add 106,263 additional named entities in the full 97-paper corpus, for an increase of 76% percent in the semantic classes of the eight ontologies that have been annotated in earlier versions of the CRAFT corpus.

CONCLUSIONS: The project produced a large data set for further investigation of coreference and coreference resolution in the scientific literature. The work raised issues in the phenomenon of reference in this domain and genre, and the paper proposes that many mentions that would be considered generic in the general domain are not generic in the biomedical domain due to their referents to specific classes in domain-specific ontologies. The comparison of the performance of a publicly available and well-understood coreference resolution system with a domain-adapted system produced results that are consistent with the notion that the requirements for successful coreference resolution in this genre are quite different from those of the general domain, and also suggest that the baseline performance difference is quite large.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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