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AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2013 Nov 16;2013:1007-16. eCollection 2013.

Word Sense Disambiguation of clinical abbreviations with hyperdimensional computing.

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The University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics at Houston, Houston, TX.
Drchrono, Mountain View, CA.
The University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics at Houston, Houston, TX ; National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare, Houston, TX.


Automated Word Sense Disambiguation in clinical documents is a prerequisite to accurate extraction of medical information. Emerging methods utilizing hyperdimensional computing present new approaches to this problem. In this paper, we evaluate one such approach, the Binary Spatter Code Word Sense Disambiguation algorithm, on 50 ambiguous abbreviation sets derived from clinical notes. This algorithm uses reversible vector transformations to encode ambiguous terms and their context-specific senses into vectors representing surrounding terms. The sense for a new context is then inferred from vectors representing the terms it contains. One-to-one BSC-WSD achieves average accuracy of 94.55% when considering the orientation and distance of neighboring terms relative to the target abbreviation, outperforming Support Vector Machine and Naïve Bayes classifiers. Furthermore, it is practical to deal with all 50 abbreviations in an identical manner using a single one-to-many BSC-WSD model with average accuracy of 93.91%, which is not possible with common machine learning algorithms.

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