Florian Borchert


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A Meta-dataset of German Medical Corpora: Harmonization of Annotations and Cross-corpus NER Evaluation
Ignacio Llorca | Florian Borchert | Matthieu-P. Schapranow
Proceedings of the 5th Clinical Natural Language Processing Workshop

Over the last years, an increasing number of publicly available, semantically annotated medical corpora have been released for the German language. While their annotations cover comparable semantic classes, the synergies of such efforts have not been explored, yet. This is due to substantial differences in the data schemas (syntax) and annotated entities (semantics), which hinder the creation of common meta-datasets. For instance, it is unclear whether named entity recognition (NER) taggers trained on one or more of such datasets are useful to detect entities in any of the other datasets. In this work, we create harmonized versions of German medical corpora using the BigBIO framework, and make them available to the community. Using these as a meta-dataset, we perform a series of cross-corpus evaluation experiments on two settings of aligned labels. These consist in fine-tuning various pre-trained Transformers on different combinations of training sets, and testing them against each dataset separately. We find that a) trained NER models generalize poorly, with F1 scores dropping approx. 20 pp. on unseen test data, and b) current pre-trained Transformer models for the German language do not systematically alleviate this issue. However, our results suggest that models benefit from additional training corpora in most cases, even if these belong to different medical fields or text genres.

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Resolving Elliptical Compounds in German Medical Text
Niklas Kammer | Florian Borchert | Silvia Winkler | Gerard de Melo | Matthieu-P. Schapranow
The 22nd Workshop on Biomedical Natural Language Processing and BioNLP Shared Tasks

Elliptical coordinated compound noun phrases (ECCNPs), a special kind of coordination ellipsis, are a common phenomenon in German medical texts. As their presence is known to affect the performance in downstream tasks such as entity extraction and disambiguation, their resolution can be a useful preprocessing step in information extraction pipelines. In this work, we present a new comprehensive dataset of more than 4,000 manually annotated ECCNPs in German medical text, along with the respective ground truth resolutions. Based on this data, we propose a generative encoder-decoder Transformer model, allowing for a simple end-to-end resolution of ECCNPs from raw input strings with very high accuracy (90.5% exact match score). We compare our approach to an elaborate rule-based baseline, which the generative model outperforms by a large margin. We further investigate different scenarios for prompting large language models (LLM) to resolve ECCNPs. In a zero-shot setting, performance is remarkably poor (21.6% exact matches), as the LLM tends to apply complex changes to the inputs unrelated to our specific task. We also find no improvement over the generative model when using the LLM for post-filtering of generated candidate resolutions.


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GGPONC 2.0 - The German Clinical Guideline Corpus for Oncology: Curation Workflow, Annotation Policy, Baseline NER Taggers
Florian Borchert | Christina Lohr | Luise Modersohn | Jonas Witt | Thomas Langer | Markus Follmann | Matthias Gietzelt | Bert Arnrich | Udo Hahn | Matthieu-P. Schapranow
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Despite remarkable advances in the development of language resources over the recent years, there is still a shortage of annotated, publicly available corpora covering (German) medical language. With the initial release of the German Guideline Program in Oncology NLP Corpus (GGPONC), we have demonstrated how such corpora can be built upon clinical guidelines, a widely available resource in many natural languages with a reasonable coverage of medical terminology. In this work, we describe a major new release for GGPONC. The corpus has been substantially extended in size and re-annotated with a new annotation scheme based on SNOMED CT top level hierarchies, reaching high inter-annotator agreement (γ=.94). Moreover, we annotated elliptical coordinated noun phrases and their resolutions, a common language phenomenon in (not only German) scientific documents. We also trained BERT-based named entity recognition models on this new data set, which achieve high performance on short, coarse-grained entity spans (F1=.89), while the rate of boundary errors increases for long entity spans. GGPONC is freely available through a data use agreement. The trained named entity recognition models, as well as the detailed annotation guide, are also made publicly available.


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GGPONC: A Corpus of German Medical Text with Rich Metadata Based on Clinical Practice Guidelines
Florian Borchert | Christina Lohr | Luise Modersohn | Thomas Langer | Markus Follmann | Jan Philipp Sachs | Udo Hahn | Matthieu-P. Schapranow
Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Health Text Mining and Information Analysis

The lack of publicly accessible text corpora is a major obstacle for progress in natural language processing. For medical applications, unfortunately, all language communities other than English are low-resourced. In this work, we present GGPONC (German Guideline Program in Oncology NLP Corpus), a freely dis tributable German language corpus based on clinical practice guidelines for oncology. This corpus is one of the largest ever built from German medical documents. Unlike clinical documents, clinical guidelines do not contain any patient-related information and can therefore be used without data protection restrictions. Moreover, GGPONC is the first corpus for the German language covering diverse conditions in a large medical subfield and provides a variety of metadata, such as literature references and evidence levels. By applying and evaluating existing medical information extraction pipelines for German text, we are able to draw comparisons for the use of medical language to other corpora, medical and non-medical ones.