How GATE supports Bio-medical research

GATE is a widely used, established open source NLP infrastructure, that provides a framework and numerous essential components (plugins) for clinical NLP. The components include:

  1. pre-processing tools (e.g. tokenisation, spelling correction);
  2. language processing tools (e.g. part of speech tagging);
  3. domain- and task-specific NLP tools (e.g. biomedical named entity recognition, pharmacotherapy annotations such as dosage and drug names, UMLS/MeSH entity linking; biomedical acronym recognition, gene tagging); and
  4. NLP development tools (machine learning algorithms; a linguistic pattern-matching, rule engine; performance evaluation tools).

Beyond making these NLP tools openly available, GATE also provides:

  1. GATE Developer – a graphical interface for developing and testing new NLP tools and applications;
  2. GATE Cloud – a cloud-based NLP platform-as-a-service, for seamless service-based deployment of GATE NLP tools and applications;
  3. GATE Mimir – a highly scalable semantic indexing and search platform;
  4. GATE Teamware – a collaborative, web-based document annotation tool.

Using these NLP tools and services, even users without coding experience can easily use, adapt, or build an NLP system to analyse clinical text.

Thanks to its open source nature, GATE users also benefit from tools and applications that are provided by third-party GATE users and shared via public repositories.

The GATE development team dedicates significant resources to supporting and growing the GATE user community through regular and bespoke training courses, open access training materials/documentation, and an open user mailing list.

The GATE team also offers consulting services to help the development of new NLP applications in the clinical/healthcare sector. Successful ongoing collaborations include (amongst others) Kings College Hospital, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, Swansea University, and the NIHR Innovation Observatory.

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