JMIR Medical Informatics (May 2020)

A Graph Convolutional Network–Based Method for Chemical-Protein Interaction Extraction: Algorithm Development

  • Wang, Erniu,
  • Wang, Fan,
  • Yang, Zhihao,
  • Wang, Lei,
  • Zhang, Yin,
  • Lin, Hongfei,
  • Wang, Jian

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 5
p. e17643


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BackgroundExtracting the interactions between chemicals and proteins from the biomedical literature is important for many biomedical tasks such as drug discovery, medicine precision, and knowledge graph construction. Several computational methods have been proposed for automatic chemical-protein interaction (CPI) extraction. However, the majority of these proposed models cannot effectively learn semantic and syntactic information from complex sentences in biomedical texts. ObjectiveTo relieve this problem, we propose a method to effectively encode syntactic information from long text for CPI extraction. MethodsSince syntactic information can be captured from dependency graphs, graph convolutional networks (GCNs) have recently drawn increasing attention in natural language processing. To investigate the performance of a GCN on CPI extraction, this paper proposes a novel GCN-based model. The model can effectively capture sequential information and long-range syntactic relations between words by using the dependency structure of input sentences. ResultsWe evaluated our model on the ChemProt corpus released by BioCreative VI; it achieved an F-score of 65.17%, which is 1.07% higher than that of the state-of-the-art system proposed by Peng et al. As indicated by the significance test (P<.001), the improvement is significant. It indicates that our model is effective in extracting CPIs. The GCN-based model can better capture the semantic and syntactic information of the sentence compared to other models, therefore alleviating the problems associated with the complexity of biomedical literature. ConclusionsOur model can obtain more information from the dependency graph than previously proposed models. Experimental results suggest that it is competitive to state-of-the-art methods and significantly outperforms other methods on the ChemProt corpus, which is the benchmark data set for CPI extraction.