'HypothesisFinder:' A strategy for the detection of speculative statements in scientific text
Speculative statements communicating experimental findings are frequently found in scientific articles, and their purpose is to provide an impetus for further investigations into the given topic. Automated recognition of speculative statements in scientific text has gained interest in recent years as systematic analysis of such statements could transform speculative thoughts into testable hypotheses. We describe here a pattern matching approach for the detection of speculative statements in scientific text that uses a dictionary of speculative patterns to classify sentences as hypothetical. To demonstrate the practical utility of our approach, we applied it to the domain of Alzheimer's disease and showed that our automated approach captures a wide spectrum of scientific speculations on Alzheimer's disease. Subsequent exploration of derived hypothetical knowledge leads to generation of a coherent overview on emerging knowledge niches, and can thus provide added value to ongoing research activities.