Peter Szolovits


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Towards Generalizable Methods for Automating Risk Score Calculation
Jennifer J Liang | Eric Lehman | Ananya Iyengar | Diwakar Mahajan | Preethi Raghavan | Cindy Y. Chang | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the 21st Workshop on Biomedical Language Processing

Clinical risk scores enable clinicians to tabulate a set of patient data into simple scores to stratify patients into risk categories. Although risk scores are widely used to inform decision-making at the point-of-care, collecting the information necessary to calculate such scores requires considerable time and effort. Previous studies have focused on specific risk scores and involved manual curation of relevant terms or codes and heuristics for each data element of a risk score. To support more generalizable methods for risk score calculation, we annotate 100 patients in MIMIC-III with elements of CHA2DS2-VASc and PERC scores, and explore using question answering (QA) and off-the-shelf tools. We show that QA models can achieve comparable or better performance for certain risk score elements as compared to heuristic-based methods, and demonstrate the potential for more scalable risk score automation without the need for expert-curated heuristics. Our annotated dataset will be released to the community to encourage efforts in generalizable methods for automating risk scores.

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Learning to Ask Like a Physician
Eric Lehman | Vladislav Lialin | Katelyn Edelwina Legaspi | Anne Janelle Sy | Patricia Therese Pile | Nicole Rose Alberto | Richard Raymund Ragasa | Corinna Victoria Puyat | Marianne Katharina Taliño | Isabelle Rose Alberto | Pia Gabrielle Alfonso | Dana Moukheiber | Byron Wallace | Anna Rumshisky | Jennifer Liang | Preethi Raghavan | Leo Anthony Celi | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the 4th Clinical Natural Language Processing Workshop

Existing question answering (QA) datasets derived from electronic health records (EHR) are artificially generated and consequently fail to capture realistic physician information needs. We present Discharge Summary Clinical Questions (DiSCQ), a newly curated question dataset composed of 2,000+ questions paired with the snippets of text (triggers) that prompted each question. The questions are generated by medical experts from 100+ MIMIC-III discharge summaries. We analyze this dataset to characterize the types of information sought by medical experts. We also train baseline models for trigger detection and question generation (QG), paired with unsupervised answer retrieval over EHRs. Our baseline model is able to generate high quality questions in over 62% of cases when prompted with human selected triggers. We release this dataset (and all code to reproduce baseline model results) to facilitate further research into realistic clinical QA and QG:


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emrKBQA: A Clinical Knowledge-Base Question Answering Dataset
Preethi Raghavan | Jennifer J Liang | Diwakar Mahajan | Rachita Chandra | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the 20th Workshop on Biomedical Language Processing

We present emrKBQA, a dataset for answering physician questions from a structured patient record. It consists of questions, logical forms and answers. The questions and logical forms are generated based on real-world physician questions and are slot-filled and answered from patients in the MIMIC-III KB through a semi-automated process. This community-shared release consists of over 940000 question, logical form and answer triplets with 389 types of questions and ~7.5 paraphrases per question type. We perform experiments to validate the quality of the dataset and set benchmarks for question to logical form learning that helps answer questions on this dataset.


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Advancing Seq2seq with Joint Paraphrase Learning
So Yeon Min | Preethi Raghavan | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the 3rd Clinical Natural Language Processing Workshop

We address the problem of model generalization for sequence to sequence (seq2seq) architectures. We propose going beyond data augmentation via paraphrase-optimized multi-task learning and observe that it is useful in correctly handling unseen sentential paraphrases as inputs. Our models greatly outperform SOTA seq2seq models for semantic parsing on diverse domains (Overnight - up to 3.2% and emrQA - 7%) and Nematus, the winning solution for WMT 2017, for Czech to English translation (CzENG 1.6 - 1.5 BLEU).

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Entity-Enriched Neural Models for Clinical Question Answering
Bhanu Pratap Singh Rawat | Wei-Hung Weng | So Yeon Min | Preethi Raghavan | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the 19th SIGBioMed Workshop on Biomedical Language Processing

We explore state-of-the-art neural models for question answering on electronic medical records and improve their ability to generalize better on previously unseen (paraphrased) questions at test time. We enable this by learning to predict logical forms as an auxiliary task along with the main task of answer span detection. The predicted logical forms also serve as a rationale for the answer. Further, we also incorporate medical entity information in these models via the ERNIE architecture. We train our models on the large-scale emrQA dataset and observe that our multi-task entity-enriched models generalize to paraphrased questions ~5% better than the baseline BERT model.

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Hooks in the Headline: Learning to Generate Headlines with Controlled Styles
Di Jin | Zhijing Jin | Joey Tianyi Zhou | Lisa Orii | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Current summarization systems only produce plain, factual headlines, far from the practical needs for the exposure and memorableness of the articles. We propose a new task, Stylistic Headline Generation (SHG), to enrich the headlines with three style options (humor, romance and clickbait), thus attracting more readers. With no style-specific article-headline pair (only a standard headline summarization dataset and mono-style corpora), our method TitleStylist generates stylistic headlines by combining the summarization and reconstruction tasks into a multitasking framework. We also introduced a novel parameter sharing scheme to further disentangle the style from text. Through both automatic and human evaluation, we demonstrate that TitleStylist can generate relevant, fluent headlines with three target styles: humor, romance, and clickbait. The attraction score of our model generated headlines outperforms the state-of-the-art summarization model by 9.68%, even outperforming human-written references.


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Neural Token Representations and Negation and Speculation Scope Detection in Biomedical and General Domain Text
Elena Sergeeva | Henghui Zhu | Amir Tahmasebi | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the Tenth International Workshop on Health Text Mining and Information Analysis (LOUHI 2019)

Since the introduction of context-aware token representation techniques such as Embeddings from Language Models (ELMo) and Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT), there has been numerous reports on improved performance on a variety of natural language tasks. Nevertheless, the degree to which the resulting context-aware representations encode information about morpho-syntactic properties of the word/token in a sentence remains unclear. In this paper, we investigate the application and impact of state-of-the-art neural token representations for automatic cue-conditional speculation and negation scope detection coupled with the independently computed morpho-syntactic information. Through this work, We establish a new state-of-the-art for the BioScope and NegPar corpus. More importantly, we provide a thorough analysis of neural representations and additional features interactions, cue-representation for conditioning, discuss model behavior on different datasets and address the annotation-induced biases in the learned representations.

A Framework for Relation Extraction Across Multiple Datasets in Multiple Domains
Geeticka Chauhan | Matthew McDermott | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the 2019 Workshop on Widening NLP

In this work, we aim to build a unifying framework for relation extraction (RE), applying this on 3 highly used datasets with the ability to be extendable to new datasets. At the moment, the domain suffers from lack of reproducibility as well as a lack of consensus on generalizable techniques. Our framework will be open-sourced and will aid in performing systematic exploration on the effect of different modeling techniques, pre-processing, training methodologies and evaluation metrics on the 3 datasets to help establish a consensus.

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REflex: Flexible Framework for Relation Extraction in Multiple Domains
Geeticka Chauhan | Matthew B.A. McDermott | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the 18th BioNLP Workshop and Shared Task

Systematic comparison of methods for relation extraction (RE) is difficult because many experiments in the field are not described precisely enough to be completely reproducible and many papers fail to report ablation studies that would highlight the relative contributions of their various combined techniques. In this work, we build a unifying framework for RE, applying this on three highly used datasets (from the general, biomedical and clinical domains) with the ability to be extendable to new datasets. By performing a systematic exploration of modeling, pre-processing and training methodologies, we find that choices of preprocessing are a large contributor performance and that omission of such information can further hinder fair comparison. Other insights from our exploration allow us to provide recommendations for future research in this area.


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PICO Element Detection in Medical Text via Long Short-Term Memory Neural Networks
Di Jin | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the BioNLP 2018 workshop

Successful evidence-based medicine (EBM) applications rely on answering clinical questions by analyzing large medical literature databases. In order to formulate a well-defined, focused clinical question, a framework called PICO is widely used, which identifies the sentences in a given medical text that belong to the four components: Participants/Problem (P), Intervention (I), Comparison (C) and Outcome (O). In this work, we present a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) neural network based model to automatically detect PICO elements. By jointly classifying subsequent sentences in the given text, we achieve state-of-the-art results on PICO element classification compared to several strong baseline models. We also make our curated data public as a benchmarking dataset so that the community can benefit from it.

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Hierarchical Neural Networks for Sequential Sentence Classification in Medical Scientific Abstracts
Di Jin | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Prevalent models based on artificial neural network (ANN) for sentence classification often classify sentences in isolation without considering the context in which sentences appear. This hampers the traditional sentence classification approaches to the problem of sequential sentence classification, where structured prediction is needed for better overall classification performance. In this work, we present a hierarchical sequential labeling network to make use of the contextual information within surrounding sentences to help classify the current sentence. Our model outperforms the state-of-the-art results by 2%-3% on two benchmarking datasets for sequential sentence classification in medical scientific abstracts.

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Transfer Learning for Named-Entity Recognition with Neural Networks
Ji Young Lee | Franck Dernoncourt | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)


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MIT at SemEval-2017 Task 10: Relation Extraction with Convolutional Neural Networks
Ji Young Lee | Franck Dernoncourt | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2017)

Over 50 million scholarly articles have been published: they constitute a unique repository of knowledge. In particular, one may infer from them relations between scientific concepts. Artificial neural networks have recently been explored for relation extraction. In this work, we continue this line of work and present a system based on a convolutional neural network to extract relations. Our model ranked first in the SemEval-2017 task 10 (ScienceIE) for relation extraction in scientific articles (subtask C).

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Neural Networks for Joint Sentence Classification in Medical Paper Abstracts
Franck Dernoncourt | Ji Young Lee | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 2, Short Papers

Existing models based on artificial neural networks (ANNs) for sentence classification often do not incorporate the context in which sentences appear, and classify sentences individually. However, traditional sentence classification approaches have been shown to greatly benefit from jointly classifying subsequent sentences, such as with conditional random fields. In this work, we present an ANN architecture that combines the effectiveness of typical ANN models to classify sentences in isolation, with the strength of structured prediction. Our model outperforms the state-of-the-art results on two different datasets for sequential sentence classification in medical abstracts.

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NeuroNER: an easy-to-use program for named-entity recognition based on neural networks
Franck Dernoncourt | Ji Young Lee | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Named-entity recognition (NER) aims at identifying entities of interest in a text. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) have recently been shown to outperform existing NER systems. However, ANNs remain challenging to use for non-expert users. In this paper, we present NeuroNER, an easy-to-use named-entity recognition tool based on ANNs. Users can annotate entities using a graphical web-based user interface (BRAT): the annotations are then used to train an ANN, which in turn predict entities’ locations and categories in new texts. NeuroNER makes this annotation-training-prediction flow smooth and accessible to anyone.


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Feature-Augmented Neural Networks for Patient Note De-identification
Ji Young Lee | Franck Dernoncourt | Özlem Uzuner | Peter Szolovits
Proceedings of the Clinical Natural Language Processing Workshop (ClinicalNLP)

Patient notes contain a wealth of information of potentially great interest to medical investigators. However, to protect patients’ privacy, Protected Health Information (PHI) must be removed from the patient notes before they can be legally released, a process known as patient note de-identification. The main objective for a de-identification system is to have the highest possible recall. Recently, the first neural-network-based de-identification system has been proposed, yielding state-of-the-art results. Unlike other systems, it does not rely on human-engineered features, which allows it to be quickly deployed, but does not leverage knowledge from human experts or from electronic health records (EHRs). In this work, we explore a method to incorporate human-engineered features as well as features derived from EHRs to a neural-network-based de-identification system. Our results show that the addition of features, especially the EHR-derived features, further improves the state-of-the-art in patient note de-identification, including for some of the most sensitive PHI types such as patient names. Since in a real-life setting patient notes typically come with EHRs, we recommend developers of de-identification systems to leverage the information EHRs contain.