A context-based ABC model for literature-based discovery

Yong Hwan Kim, Min Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background In the literature-based discovery, considerable research has been done based on the ABC model developed by Swanson. ABC model hypothesizes that there is a meaningful relation between entity A extracted from document set 1 and entity C extracted from document set 2 through B entities that appear commonly in both document sets. The results of ABC model are relations among entity A, B, and C, which is referred as paths. A path allows for hypothesizing the relationship between entity A and entity C, or helps discover entity B as a new evidence for the relationship between entity A and entity C. The co-occurrence based approach of ABC model is a well-known approach to automatic hypothesis generation by creating various paths. However, the co-occurrence based ABC model has a limitation, in that biological context is not considered. It focuses only on matching of B entity which commonly appears in relation between two entities. Therefore, the paths extracted by the co-occurrence based ABC model tend to include a lot of irrelevant paths, meaning that expert verification is essential. Methods In order to overcome this limitation of the co-occurrence based ABC model, we propose a context-based approach to connecting one entity relation to another, modifying the ABC model using biological contexts. In this study, we defined four biological context elements: cell, drug, disease, and organism. Based on these biological context, we propose two extended ABC models: a context-based ABC model and a context-assignment-based ABC model. In order to measure the performance of the both proposed models, we examined the relevance of the B entities between the well-known relations “APOE–MAPT” as well as “FUS–TARDBP”. Each relation means interaction between neurodegenerative disease associated with proteins. The interaction between APOE and MAPT is known to play a crucial role in Alzheimer’s disease as APOE affects tau-mediated neurodegeneration. It has been shown that mutation in FUS and TARDBP are associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS), a motor neuron disease by leading to neuronal cell death. Using these two relations, we compared both of proposed models to co-occurrence based ABC model. Results The precision of B entities by co-occurrence based ABC model was 27.1% for “APOE–MAPT” and 22.1% for “FUS–TARDBP”, respectively. In context-based ABC model, precision of extracted B entities was 71.4% for “APOE–MAPT”, and 77.9% for “FUS–TARDBP”. Context-assignment based ABC model achieved 89% and 97.5% precision for the two relations, respectively. Both proposed models achieved a higher precision than co-occurrence-based ABC model.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0215313
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Bio-Synergy Research Project (NRF2013M3A9C4078138) of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning through the National Research Foundation(https://www.nrf.re. kr, for MS). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Kim, Song. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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