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In Bioinformatics (Oxford, England)

MOTIVATION : With the rapid increase of biomedical articles, large-scale automatic Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) indexing has become increasingly important. FullMeSH, the only method for large-scale MeSH indexing with full text, suffers from three major drawbacks: FullMeSH 1) uses Learning To Rank (LTR), which is time-consuming, 2) can capture some pre-defined sections only in full text, and 3) ignores the whole MEDLINE database.

RESULTS : We propose a computationally lighter, full-text and deep learning based MeSH indexing method, BERTMeSH, which is flexible for section organization in full text. BERTMeSH has two technologies: 1) the state-of-the-art pre-trained deep contextual representation, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), which makes BERTMeSH capture deep semantics of full text. 2) a transfer learning strategy for using both full text in PubMed Central (PMC) and title and abstract (only and no full text) in MEDLINE, to take advantages of both. In our experiments, BERTMeSH was pre-trained with 3 million MEDLINE citations and trained on approximately 1.5 million full text in PMC. BERTMeSH outperformed various cutting edge baselines. For example, for 20K test articles of PMC, BERTMeSH achieved a Micro F-measure of 69.2%, which was 6.3% higher than FullMeSH with the difference being statistically significant. Also prediction of 20K test articles needed 5 minutes by BERTMeSH, while it took more than 10 hours by FullMeSH, proving the computational efficiency of BERTMeSH.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION : Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

You Ronghui, Liu Yuxuan, Mamitsuka Hiroshi, Zhu Shanfeng