A Software Tool for Biomedical Information Extraction (And Beyond)

A Software Tool for Biomedical Information Extraction (And Beyond)

Burr Settles (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-988-5.ch061


ABNER (A Biomedical Named Entity Recognizer) is an open-source software tool for text mining in the molecular biology literature. It processes unstructured biomedical documents in order to discover and annotate mentions of genes, proteins, cell types, and other entities of interest. This task, known as named entity recognition (NER), is an important first step for many larger information management goals in biomedicine, namely extraction of biochemical relationships, document classification, information retrieval, and the like. To accomplish this task, ABNER uses state-of-the-art machine learning models for sequence labeling called conditional random fields (CRFs). The software distribution comes bundled with two models that are pre-trained on standard evaluation corpora. ABNER can run as a stand-alone application with a graphical user interface, or be accessed as a Java API allowing it to be re-trained with new labeled corpora and incorporated into other, higher-level applications. This chapter describes the software and its features, presents an overview of the underlying technology, and provides a discussion of some of the more advanced natural language processing systems for which ABNER has been used as a component. ABNER is open-source and freely available from http://pages. cs.wisc.edu/~bsettles/abner/

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