Text mining for systems biology

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A substantial proportion of information relevant to the modelling and simulation of physiological and pathophysiological processes is not available from databases but is instead present in unstructured scientific documents, such as journal articles, reviews and monographs.



Scientific communication in biomedicine is, by and large, still text based. Text mining technologies for the automated extraction of useful biomedical information from unstructured text that can be directly used for systems biology modelling have been substantially improved over the past few years. In this review, we underline the importance of named entity recognition and relationship extraction as fundamental approaches that are relevant to systems biology. Furthermore, we emphasize the role of publicly organized scientific benchmarking challenges that reflect the current status of text-mining technology and are important in moving the entire field forward. Given further interdisciplinary development of systems biology-orientated ontologies and training corpora, we expect a steadily increasing impact of text-mining technology on systems biology in the future.

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