Molecular Interactions. On the Ambiguity of Ordinary Statements in Biomedical Literature

Applied ontology (4):21-34 (2009)
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Statements about the behavior of biochemical entities (e.g., about the interaction between two proteins) abound in the literature on molecular biology and are increasingly becoming the targets of information extraction and text mining techniques. We show that an accurate analysis of the semantics of such statements reveals a number of ambiguities that have to be taken into account in the practice of biomedical ontology engineering: Such statements can not only be understood as event reporting statements, but also as ascriptions of dispositions or tendencies that may or may not refer to collectives of interacting molecules or even to collectives of interaction events.

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Ludger Jansen
PTH Brixen College


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