Disentangling the Structure of Tables in Scientific Literature

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9612)


Within the scientific literature, tables are commonly used to present factual and statistical information in a compact way, which is easy to digest by readers. The ability to “understand” the structure of tables is key for information extraction in many domains. However, the complexity and variety of presentation layouts and value formats makes it difficult to automatically extract roles and relationships of table cells. In this paper, we present a model that structures tables in a machine readable way and a methodology to automatically disentangle and transform tables into the modelled data structure. The method was tested in the domain of clinical trials: it achieved an F-score of 94.26 % for cell function identification and 94.84 % for identification of inter-cell relationships.


Table mining Text mining Data management Data modelling Natural language processing 



This research is funded by a doctoral funding grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and AstraZeneca Ltd.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.AstraZeneca LtdCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Health EResearch CentreManchesterUK

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