Motivation: Biomedical literature is the principal repository of biomedical knowledge, with PubMed being the most complete database collecting, organizing and analyzing such textual knowledge. There are numerous efforts that attempt to exploit this information by using text mining and machine learning techniques. We developed a novel approach, called PuReD-MCL (Pubmed Related Documents-MCL), which is based on the graph clustering algorithm MCL and relevant resources from PubMed.
Methods: PuReD-MCL avoids using natural language processing (NLP) techniques directly; instead, it takes advantage of existing resources, available from PubMed. PuReD-MCL then clusters documents efficiently using the MCL graph clustering algorithm, which is based on graph flow simulation. This process allows users to analyse the results by highlighting important clues, and finally to visualize the clusters and all relevant information using an interactive graph layout algorithm, for instance BioLayout Express 3D.
Results: The methodology was applied to two different datasets, previously used for the validation of the document clustering tool TextQuest. The first dataset involves the organisms Escherichia coli and yeast, whereas the second is related to Drosophila development. PuReD-MCL successfully reproduces the annotated results obtained from TextQuest, while at the same time provides additional insights into the clusters and the corresponding documents.
Availability: Source code in perl and R are available from http://tartara.csd.auth.gr/~theodos/