Predicting future scientific discoveries based on a networked analysis of the past literature
We present KnIT, the Knowledge Integration Toolkit, a system for accelerating scientific discovery and predicting previously unknown protein-protein interactions. Such predictions enrich biological research and are pertinent to drug discovery and the understanding of disease. Unlike a prior study, KnIT is now fully automated and demonstrably scalable. It extracts information from the scientific literature, automatically identifying direct and indirect references to protein interactions, which is knowledge that can be represented in network form. It then reasons over this network with techniques such as matrix factorization and graph diffusion to predict new, previously unknown interactions. The accuracy and scope of KnIT's knowledge extractions are validated using comparisons to structured, manually curated data sources as well as by performing retrospective studies that predict subsequent literature discoveries using literature available prior to a given date. The KnIT methodology is a step towards automated hypothesis generation from text, with potential application to other scientific domains.