Into the Single Cell Multiverse: an End-to-End Dataset for Procedural Knowledge Extraction in Biomedical Texts

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Datasets and Benchmarks Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Ruth Dannenfelser, Jeffrey Zhong, Ran Zhang, Vicky Yao


Many of the most commonly explored natural language processing (NLP) information extraction tasks can be thought of as evaluations of declarative knowledge, or fact-based information extraction. Procedural knowledge extraction, i.e., breaking down a described process into a series of steps, has received much less attention, perhaps in part due to the lack of structured datasets that capture the knowledge extraction process from end-to-end. To address this unmet need, we present FlaMBé (Flow annotations for Multiverse Biological entities), a collection of expert-curated datasets across a series of complementary tasks that capture procedural knowledge in biomedical texts. This dataset is inspired by the observation that one ubiquitous source of procedural knowledge that is described as unstructured text is within academic papers describing their methodology. The workflows annotated in FlaMBé are from texts in the burgeoning field of single cell research, a research area that has become notorious for the number of software tools and complexity of workflows used. Additionally, FlaMBé provides, to our knowledge, the largest manually curated named entity recognition (NER) and disambiguation (NED) datasets for tissue/cell type, a fundamental biological entity that is critical for knowledge extraction in the biomedical research domain. Beyond providing a valuable dataset to enable further development of NLP models for procedural knowledge extraction, automating the process of workflow mining also has important implications for advancing reproducibility in biomedical research.