Feature engineering vs. deep learning for paper section identification : Toward applications in Chinese medical literature

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

14 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Article number102206
Journal / PublicationInformation Processing and Management
Issue number3
Online published31 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


Section identification is an important task for library science, especially knowledge management. Identifying the sections of a paper would help filter noise in entity and relation extraction. In this research, we studied the paper section identification problem in the context of Chinese medical literature analysis, where the subjects, methods, and results are more valuable from a physician's perspective. Based on previous studies on English literature section identification, we experiment with the effective features to use with classic machine learning algorithms to tackle the problem. It is found that Conditional Random Fields, which consider sentence interdependency, is more effective in combining different feature sets, such as bag-of-words, part-of-speech, and headings, for Chinese literature section identification. Moreover, we find that classic machine learning algorithms are more effective than generic deep learning models for this problem. Based on these observations, we design a novel deep learning model, the Structural Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (SLSTM) model, which models word and sentence interdependency together with the contextual information. Experiments on a human-curated asthma literature dataset show that our approach outperforms the traditional machine learning methods and other deep learning methods and achieves close to 90% precision and recall in the task. The model shows good potential for use in other text mining tasks. The research has significant methodological and practical implications.

Research Area(s)

  • Chinese medicinal literature, Deep learning, Feature engineering, Section identification