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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 6 (2005), Issue 1-2, Pages 61-66
Conference paper

Towards a Semantic Lexicon for Biological Language Processing

Los Alamos National Laboratory, PO Box 1663, MS B256, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA

Received 9 December 2004; Accepted 14 December 2004

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


This paper explores the use of the resources in the National Library of Medicine's Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) for the construction of a lexicon useful for processing texts in the field of molecular biology. A lexicon is constructed from overlapping terms in the UMLS SPECIALIST lexicon and the UMLS Metathesaurus to obtain both morphosyntactic and semantic information for terms, and the coverage of a domain corpus is assessed. Over 77% of tokens in the domain corpus are found in the constructed lexicon, validating the lexicon's coverage of the most frequent terms in the domain and indicating that the constructed lexicon is potentially an important resource for biological text processing.