A graph-search framework for associating gene identifiers with documents

William W. Cohen, Einat Minkov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: One step in the model organism database curation process is to find, for each article, the identifier of every gene discussed in the article. We consider a relaxation of this problem suitable for semi-automated systems, in which each article is associated with a ranked list of possible gene identifiers, and experimentally compare methods for solving this geneld ranking problem. In addition to baseline approaches based on combining named entity recognition (NER) systems with a "soft dictionary" of gene synonyms, we evaluate a graph-based method which combines the outputs of multiple NER systems, as well as other sources of information, and a learning method for reranking the output of the graph-based method. Results: We show that named entity recognition (NER) systems with similar F-measure performance can have significantly different performance when used with a soft dictionary for geneld-ranking. The graph-based approach can outperform any of its component NER systems, even without learning, and learning can further improve the performance of the graph-based ranking approach. Conclusion: The utility of a named entity recognition (NER) system for geneld-finding may not be accurately predicted by its entity-level F1 performance, the most common performance measure. Geneld-ranking systems are best implemented by combining several NER systems. With appropriate combination methods, usefully accurate geneld-ranking systems can be constructed based on easily-available resources, without resorting to problem-specific, engineered components.

Original languageEnglish
Article number440
JournalBMC Bioinformatics
StatePublished - 10 Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Computer Science Applications


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