Bernal Jimenez Gutierrez
Clinical Reading Comprehension: A Thorough Analysis of the emrQA Dataset
Xiang Yue | Bernal Jimenez Gutierrez | Huan Sun
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Machine reading comprehension has made great progress in recent years owing to large-scale annotated datasets. In the clinical domain, however, creating such datasets is quite difficult due to the domain expertise required for annotation. Recently, Pampari et al. (EMNLP’18) tackled this issue by using expert-annotated question templates and existing i2b2 annotations to create emrQA, the first large-scale dataset for question answering (QA) based on clinical notes. In this paper, we provide an in-depth analysis of this dataset and the clinical reading comprehension (CliniRC) task. From our qualitative analysis, we find that (i) emrQA answers are often incomplete, and (ii) emrQA questions are often answerable without using domain knowledge. From our quantitative experiments, surprising results include that (iii) using a small sampled subset (5%-20%), we can obtain roughly equal performance compared to the model trained on the entire dataset, (iv) this performance is close to human expert’s performance, and (v) BERT models do not beat the best performing base model. Following our analysis of the emrQA, we further explore two desired aspects of CliniRC systems: the ability to utilize clinical domain knowledge and to generalize to unseen questions and contexts. We argue that both should be considered when creating future datasets.
The global pandemic has made it more important than ever to quickly and accurately retrieve relevant scientific literature for effective consumption by researchers in a wide range of fields. We provide an analysis of several multi-label document classification models on the LitCovid dataset, a growing collection of 23,000 research papers regarding the novel 2019 coronavirus. We find that pre-trained language models fine-tuned on this dataset outperform all other baselines and that BioBERT surpasses the others by a small margin with micro-F1 and accuracy scores of around 86% and 75% respectively on the test set. We evaluate the data efficiency and generalizability of these models as essential features of any system prepared to deal with an urgent situation like the current health crisis. We perform a data ablation study to determine how important article titles are for achieving reasonable performance on this dataset. Finally, we explore 50 errors made by the best performing models on LitCovid documents and find that they often (1) correlate certain labels too closely together and (2) fail to focus on discriminative sections of the articles; both of which are important issues to address in future work. Both data and code are available on GitHub.