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Publication: Generic Information Can Retrieve Known Biological Associations: Implications for Biomedical Knowledge Discovery

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Publication: Generic Information Can Retrieve Known Biological Associations: Implications for Biomedical Knowledge Discovery

Weighted semantic networks built from text-mined literature can be used to retrieve known protein-protein or gene-disease associations, and have been shown to anticipate associations years before they are explicitly stated in the literature. Our text-mining system recognizes over 640,000 biomedical concepts: some are specific (i.e., names of genes or proteins) others generic (e.g., ‘Homo sapiens’). Generic concepts may play important roles in automated information retrieval, extraction, and inference but may also result in concept overload and confound retrieval and reasoning with low-relevance or even spurious links. Here, we attempted to optimize the retrieval performance for protein-protein interactions (PPI) by filtering generic concepts (node filtering) or links to generic concepts (edge filtering) from a weighted semantic network. First, we defined metrics based on network properties that quantify the specificity of concepts. Then using these metrics, we systematically filtered generic information from the network while monitoring retrieval performance of known protein-protein interactions. We also systematically filtered specific information from the network (inverse filtering), and assessed the retrieval performance of networks composed of generic information alone.

Herman H.H.B.M. van Haagen, Peter A. C. ‘t Hoen, Barend Mons, Erik A. Schultes

Full publication: PLOS ONE, November 2013

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