The Robotic Surgery Procedural Framebank

Robot-Assisted minimally invasive robotic surgery is the gold standard for the surgical treatment of many pathological conditions, and several manuals and academic papers describe how to perform these interventions. These high-quality, often peer-reviewed texts are the main study resource for medical personnel and consequently contain essential procedural domain-specific knowledge. The procedural knowledge therein described could be extracted, e.g., on the basis of semantic parsing models, and used to develop clinical decision support systems or even automation methods for some procedure’s steps. However, natural language understanding algorithms such as, for instance, semantic role labelers have lower efficacy and coverage issues when applied to domain others than those they are typically trained on (i.e., newswire text). To overcome this problem, starting from PropBank frames, we propose a new linguistic resource specific to the robotic-surgery domain, named Robotic Surgery Procedural Framebank (RSPF). We extract from robotic-surgical texts verbs and nouns that describe surgical actions and extend PropBank frames by adding any of new lemmas, frames or role sets required to cover missing lemmas, specific frames describing the surgical significance, or new semantic roles used in procedural surgical language. Our resource is publicly available and can be used to annotate corpora in the surgical domain to train and evaluate Semantic Role Labeling (SRL) systems in a challenging fine-grained domain setting.

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