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Title page for ETD etd-05242010-101636

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ong, Ferdo Renardi
Author's Email Address ferdo.r.ong@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-05242010-101636
Title The Tarsqi Toolkit’s Recognition of Temporal Expressions within Medical Documents
Degree Master of Science
Department Biomedical Informatics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Steven H. Brown, M.D. Committee Chair
Dominik Aronsky, M.D. Committee Member
Joshua C. Denny, M.D. Committee Member
  • TimeML
Date of Defense 2009-12-15
Availability unrestricted
To diagnose and treat patients, clinicians concern themselves with a complex set

of events. They need to know when, how long, and in what sequence certain events

occur. An automated means of extracting temporal meaning in electronic medical

records has been particularly challenging in natural language processing. Currently the

Tarsqi Toolkit (TTK) is the only complete software package (open source) freely

available for the temporal ordering of events within narrative free text documents. This

project focused on the TTK’s ability to recognize temporal expressions within Veterans

Affairs electronic medical documents. A baseline evaluation of TTK’s performance on

the Timebank v1.2 corpora of 183 news articles and a set of 100 VA hospital admission

and discharge notes showed an F-measure of 0.53 and 0.15, respectively. Project

development included the correction of missed and partial recognition of temporal

expressions, and the expansion of its coverage of time expressions for medical

documents. Post-modification, the TTK achieved an F-measure of 0.71 on a different set

of 100 VA hospital admission and discharge notes. Future work will evaluate TTK’s

recognition of temporal expressions within additional sets of medical documents.

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