BigBio: A Framework for Data-Centric Biomedical Natural Language Processing

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Datasets and Benchmarks Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Jason Fries, Leon Weber, Natasha Seelam, Gabriel Altay, Debajyoti Datta, Samuele Garda, Sunny Kang, Rosaline Su, Wojciech Kusa, Samuel Cahyawijaya, Fabio Barth, Simon Ott, Matthias Samwald, Stephen Bach, Stella Biderman, Mario Sänger, Bo Wang, Alison Callahan, Daniel León Periñán, Théo Gigant, Patrick Haller, Jenny Chim, Jose Posada, John Giorgi, Karthik Rangasai Sivaraman, Marc Pàmies, Marianna Nezhurina, Robert Martin, Michael Cullan, Moritz Freidank, Nathan Dahlberg, Shubhanshu Mishra, Shamik Bose, Nicholas Broad, Yanis Labrak, Shlok Deshmukh, Sid Kiblawi, Ayush Singh, Minh Chien Vu, Trishala Neeraj, Jonas Golde, Albert Villanova del Moral, Benjamin Beilharz


Training and evaluating language models increasingly requires the construction of meta-datasets -- diverse collections of curated data with clear provenance. Natural language prompting has recently lead to improved zero-shot generalization by transforming existing, supervised datasets into a variety of novel instruction tuning tasks, highlighting the benefits of meta-dataset curation. While successful in general-domain text, translating these data-centric approaches to biomedical language modeling remains challenging, as labeled biomedical datasets are significantly underrepresented in popular data hubs. To address this challenge, we introduce BigBio a community library of 126+ biomedical NLP datasets, currently covering 13 task categories and 10+ languages. BigBio facilitates reproducible meta-dataset curation via programmatic access to datasets and their metadata, and is compatible with current platforms for prompt engineering and end-to-end few/zero shot language model evaluation. We discuss our process for task schema harmonization, data auditing, contribution guidelines, and outline two illustrative use cases: zero-shot evaluation of biomedical prompts and large-scale, multi-task learning. BigBio is an ongoing community effort and is available at