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Improved Chemical Text Mining of Patents with Infinite Dictionaries and Automatic Spelling Correction

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posted on 23.01.2012, 00:00 by Roger Sayle, Paul Hongxing Xie, Sorel Muresan
The text mining of patents of pharmaceutical interest poses a number of unique challenges not encountered in other fields of text mining. Unlike fields, such as bioinformatics, where the number of terms of interest is enumerable and essentially static, systematic chemical nomenclature can describe an infinite number of molecules. Hence, the dictionary- and ontology-based techniques that are commonly used for gene names, diseases, species, etc., have limited utility when searching for novel therapeutic compounds in patents. Additionally, the length and the composition of IUPAC-like names make them more susceptible to typographic problems: OCR failures, human spelling errors, and hyphenation and line breaking issues. This work describes a novel technique, called CaffeineFix, designed to efficiently identify chemical names in free text, even in the presence of typographical errors. Corrected chemical names are generated as input for name-to-structure software. This forms a preprocessing pass, independent of the name-to-structure software used, and is shown to greatly improve the results of chemical text mining in our study.