Structured Literature Image Finder: Extracting Information from Text and Images in Biomedical Literature

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Slif uses a combination of text-mining and image processing to extract information from figures in the biomedical literature. It also uses innovative extensions to traditional latent topic modeling to provide new ways to traverse the literature. Slif provides a publicly available searchable database (

Slif originally focused on fluorescence microscopy images. We have now extended it to classify panels into more image types. We also improved the classification into subcellular classes by building a more representative training set. To get the most out of the human labeling effort, we used active learning to select images to label.

We developed models that take into account the structure of the document (with panels inside figures inside papers) and the multi-modality of the information (free and annotated text, images, information from external databases). This has allowed us to provide new ways to navigate a large collection of documents.