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Extractive Summarization in Clinical Trials Protocol Summaries: A Case Study

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Rosemblat G, Graham L, Tse T
Proc IICAI-2007, pp. 1824-1837
Abstract: 

This paper presents a method for extracting purpose statements from clinical trial protocol summaries. Simple summarization technology based on regular expressions and natural language processing techniques were applied in a controlled environment with structured sectioning to address an expressed user need: providing access to information about the purpose of specific clinical trials, originally in English, to Spanish speakers. Following an analysis of manually annotated data, based on a cascade of criteria, the Purpose Extractor Algorithm was developed to select tightly-focused candidate excerpts out of lengthy descriptions, for translation into Spanish. The extracts reduce the translation task and provide purposive content in biomedical text. The results were validated in a focused user study. It is anticipated that this extractive summarization approach may be generalized to documents from other databases as the algorithm can be tailored to different applications or needs.

Rosemblat G, Graham L, Tse T. Extractive Summarization in Clinical Trials Protocol Summaries: A Case Study Proc IICAI-2007, pp. 1824-1837