The BEL information extraction workflow (BELIEF): Evaluation in the BioCreative V BEL and IAT track
Network-based approaches have become extremely important in systems biology to achieve a better understanding of biological mechanisms. For network representation, the Biological Expression Language (BEL) is well designed to collate findings from the scientific literature into biological network models. To facilitate encoding and biocuration of such findings in BEL, a BEL Information Extraction Workflow (BELIEF) was developed. BELIEF provides a web-based curation interface, the BELIEF Dashboard, that incorporates text mining techniques to support the biocurator in the generation of BEL networks. The underlying UIMA-based text mining pipeline (BELIEF Pipeline) uses several named entity recognition processes and relationship extraction methods to detect concepts and BEL relationships in literature. The BELIEF Dashboard allows easy curation of the automatically generated BEL statements and their context annotations. Resulting BEL statements and their context annotations can be syntactically and semantically verified to ensure consistency in the BEL network. In summary, the workflow supports experts in different stages of systems biology network building. Based on the BioCreative V BEL track evaluation, we show that the BELIEF Pipeline automatically extracts relationships with an F-score of 36.4% and fully correct statements can be obtained with an F-score of 30.8%. Participation in the BioCreative V Interactive task (IAT) track with BELIEF revealed a systems usability scale (SUS) of 67. Considering the complexity of the task for new users-learning BEL, working with a completely new interface, and performing complex curation-a score so close to the overall SUS average highlights the usability of BELIEF.