Named Entity Linking in Python

Named Entity Linking in Python


Named entity linking links mentions in a corpus with what they signify. One has to:

  1. recognize those mentions as named entities (named entity recognition)
  2. map those named entities to a standardized identifiers (named entity linking).

In my project on understanding DNP toxicity I use NEL (distinguishing it from NER) to understand social media postings in terms of biomedical knowledge. I view NEL as a step along the path converting strings of characters in posts to statements with which one can perform the logical operations such as inference, deduction, or abstraction.

Table of Contents


I’m following SpaCy’s v3 NEL tutorial.

We have a NER module, ner we trained on about 4k posts, tested on 1k, updated the model and validated it on another 1k (manuscript/preprint under preparation). ner recognizes substances and symptoms1.

Unique Identifiers.

An important feature of NEL is mapping all mentions of an entity to the standardized representation of that entity. For example, test and testosterone should both be mapped to a universal representation of the concept of testosterone. SpaCy’s example uses Wikipedia identifiers. This is not a generalizable approach, but it does work to demonstrate SpaCy’s approach to NEL. We use IRIs (Internationalized Resource Identifier)

Knowledge Base

See here for a fuller description of creating the knowledge base. SpaCy’s Knowledge Base is formatted as follows

"Q312545","Roy Stanley Emerson","Australian tennis player"
"Q48226","Ralph Waldo Emerson","American philosopher, essayist, and poet"
"Q215952","Emerson Ferreira da Rosa","Brazilian footballer"

Ours is formatted as follows.

Myalgia,Myalgia,Feeling Tired,Fatigue issue
Fatigue,Fatigue,Feeling Tired,Fatigue issue
Gassed,Fatigue,Feeling Tired,Fatigue issue
Exhausted,Fatigue,Feeling Tired,Fatigue issue

“identifier” in SpaCy’s schema corresponds to “entity” in ours.

Training the Entity Linker.

The SpaCy example trains on Wikidata. We use our online forum DNP corpus.

  1. ner currently is better at recognizing substances and symptoms associated with bodybuilding and DNP use. This predilection reflects its training.