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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 913489, 9 pages
Research Article

Feature Engineering for Drug Name Recognition in Biomedical Texts: Feature Conjunction and Feature Selection

Key Laboratory of Network Oriented Intelligent Computation, Harbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen Graduate School, Shenzhen 518055, China

Received 10 November 2014; Revised 14 February 2015; Accepted 24 February 2015

Academic Editor: Stavros J. Hamodrakas

Copyright © 2015 Shengyu Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Drug name recognition (DNR) is a critical step for drug information extraction. Machine learning-based methods have been widely used for DNR with various types of features such as part-of-speech, word shape, and dictionary feature. Features used in current machine learning-based methods are usually singleton features which may be due to explosive features and a large number of noisy features when singleton features are combined into conjunction features. However, singleton features that can only capture one linguistic characteristic of a word are not sufficient to describe the information for DNR when multiple characteristics should be considered. In this study, we explore feature conjunction and feature selection for DNR, which have never been reported. We intuitively select 8 types of singleton features and combine them into conjunction features in two ways. Then, Chi-square, mutual information, and information gain are used to mine effective features. Experimental results show that feature conjunction and feature selection can improve the performance of the DNR system with a moderate number of features and our DNR system significantly outperforms the best system in the DDIExtraction 2013 challenge.