Bilingual term alignment from comparable corpora in English discharge summary and Chinese discharge summary

Yan Xu, Luoxin Chen, Junsheng Wei, Sophia Ananiadou, Yubo Fan, Yi Qian, Eric I-Chao Chang, Junichi Tsujii

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    Background: Electronic medical record (EMR) systems have become widely used throughout the world to improve the quality of healthcare and the efficiency of hospital services. A bilingual medical lexicon of Chinese and English is needed to meet the demand for the multi-lingual and multi-national treatment. We make efforts to extract a bilingual lexicon from English and Chinese discharge summaries with a small seed lexicon. The lexical terms can be classified into two categories: single-word terms (SWTs) and multi-word terms (MWTs). For SWTs, we use a label propagation (LP; context-based) method to extract candidates of translation pairs. For MWTs, which are pervasive in the medical domain, we propose a term alignment method, which firstly obtains translation candidates for each component word of a Chinese MWT, and then generates their combinations, from which the system selects a set of plausible translation candidates. Results: We compare our LP method with a baseline method based on simple context-similarity. The LP based method outperforms the baseline with the accuracies: 4.44% Acc1, 24.44% Acc10, and 62.22% Acc100, where AccN means the top N accuracy. The accuracy of the LP method drops to 5.41% Acc10 and 8.11% Acc20 for MWTs. Our experiments show that the method based on term alignment improves the performance for MWTs to 16.22% Acc10 and 27.03% Acc20. Conclusions: We constructed a framework for building an English-Chinese term dictionary from discharge summaries in the two languages. Our experiments have shown that the LP-based method augmented with the term alignment method will contribute to reduction of manual work required to compile a bilingual sydictionary of clinical terms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number149
    JournalB M C Bioinformatics
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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