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In Studies in health technology and informatics ; h5-index 23.0

Sample size is an important indicator of the power of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). In this paper, we designed a total sample size extractor using a combination of syntactic and machine learning methods, and evaluated it on 300 Covid-19 abstracts (Covid-Set) and 100 generic RCT abstracts (General-Set). To improve the performance, we applied transfer learning from a large public corpus of annotated abstracts. We achieved an average F1 score of 0.73 on the Covid-Set testing set, and 0.60 on the General-Set using exact matches. The F1 scores for loose matches on both datasets were over 0.74. Compared with the state-of-the-art tool, our extractor reports total sample sizes directly and improved F1 scores by at least 4% without transfer learning. We demonstrated that transfer learning improved the sample size extraction accuracy and minimized human labor on annotations.

Lin Fengyang, Liu Hao, Moon Paul, Weng Chunhua

2022-Jun-06

Natural Language Processing, Randomized Controlled Trial, Sample Size