Towards Understanding of Medical Randomized Controlled Trials by Conclusion Generation

10/03/2019 ∙ by Alexander Te-Wei Shieh, et al. ∙ 0

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) represent the paramount evidence of clinical medicine. Using machines to interpret the massive amount of RCTs has the potential of aiding clinical decision-making. We propose a RCT conclusion generation task from the PubMed 200k RCT sentence classification dataset to examine the effectiveness of sequence-to-sequence models on understanding RCTs. We first build a pointer-generator baseline model for conclusion generation. Then we fine-tune the state-of-the-art GPT-2 language model, which is pre-trained with general domain data, for this new medical domain task. Both automatic and human evaluation show that our GPT-2 fine-tuned models achieve improved quality and correctness in the generated conclusions compared to the baseline pointer-generator model. Further inspection points out the limitations of this current approach and future directions to explore.

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