There is a trend towards automatic analysis of large amounts of literature in the biomedical domain. However, this can be effective only if the ambiguity in natural language is resolved. In this paper, the current state of research in word sense disambiguation (WSD) is reviewed. Several methods for WSD have already been proposed, but many systems have been tested only on evaluation sets of limited size. There are currently only very few applications of WSD in the biomedical domain. The current direction of research points towards statistically based algorithms that use existing curated data and can be applied to large sets of biomedical literature. There is a need for manually tagged evaluation sets to test WSD algorithms in the biomedical domain. WSD algorithms should preferably be able to take into account both known and unknown senses of a word. Without WSD, automatic metaanalysis of large corpora of text will be error prone.

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Journal of Computational Biology
Department of Medical Informatics

Schuemie, M.J, Kors, J.A, & Mons, B. (2005). Word sense disambiguation in the biomedical domain: An overview. Journal of Computational Biology (Vol. 12, pp. 554–565). doi:10.1089/cmb.2005.12.554