Author ORCID Identifier

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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Computer Science

First Advisor

Bridget McInnes


Biomedical Entity Linking (BEL) is the task of mapping spans of text within biomedical documents to normalized, unique identifiers within an ontology. Translational application of BEL on clinical notes has enormous potential for augmenting discretely captured data in electronic health records, but the existing paradigm for evaluating BEL systems developed in academia is not well aligned with real-world use cases. In this work, we demonstrate a proof of concept for incorporating ontological similarity into the training and evaluation of BEL systems to begin to rectify this misalignment. This thesis has two primary components: 1) a comprehensive literature review and 2) a methodology section to propose novel BEL techniques to contribute to scientific progress in the field. In the literature review component, I survey the progression of BEL from its inception in the late 80s to present day state of the art systems, provide a comprehensive list of datasets available for training BEL systems, reference shared tasks focused on BEL, and outline the technical components that vii comprise BEL systems. In the methodology component, I describe my experiments incorporating ontological information into training a BERT encoder for entity linking.


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