Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Improving performance of natural language processing part-of-speech tagging on clinical narratives through domain adaptation.

Ferraro JP, Daumé H, Duvall SL, Chapman WW, Harkema H, Haug PJ. Improving performance of natural language processing part-of-speech tagging on clinical narratives through domain adaptation. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA. 2013 Sep 1; 20(5):931-9.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: Natural language processing (NLP) tasks are commonly decomposed into subtasks, chained together to form processing pipelines. The residual error produced in these subtasks propagates, adversely affecting the end objectives. Limited availability of annotated clinical data remains a barrier to reaching state-of-the-art operating characteristics using statistically based NLP tools in the clinical domain. Here we explore the unique linguistic constructions of clinical texts and demonstrate the loss in operating characteristics when out-of-the-box part-of-speech (POS) tagging tools are applied to the clinical domain. We test a domain adaptation approach integrating a novel lexical-generation probability rule used in a transformation-based learner to boost POS performance on clinical narratives. METHODS: Two target corpora from independent healthcare institutions were constructed from high frequency clinical narratives. Four leading POS taggers with their out-of-the-box models trained from general English and biomedical abstracts were evaluated against these clinical corpora. A high performing domain adaptation method, Easy Adapt, was compared to our newly proposed method ClinAdapt. RESULTS: The evaluated POS taggers drop in accuracy by 8.5-15% when tested on clinical narratives. The highest performing tagger reports an accuracy of 88.6%. Domain adaptation with Easy Adapt reports accuracies of 88.3-91.0% on clinical texts. ClinAdapt reports 93.2-93.9%. CONCLUSIONS: ClinAdapt successfully boosts POS tagging performance through domain adaptation requiring a modest amount of annotated clinical data. Improving the performance of critical NLP subtasks is expected to reduce pipeline error propagation leading to better overall results on complex processing tasks.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.