The genomics era has presented many new high throughput experimental modalities that are capable of producing large amounts of data on comprehensive sets of genes. In time there will certainly be many more new techniques that explore new avenues in biology. In any case, textual analysis will be an important aspect of the analysis. The body of the peer-reviewed scientific text represents all of our accomplishments in biology, and it plays a critical role in hypothesizing and interpreting any data set. To altogether ignore it is tantamount to reinventing the wheel with each analysis. The volume of relevant literature approaches proportions where it is all but impossible to manually search through all of it. Instead we must often rely on automated text mining methods to access the literature efficiently and effectively. The methods we present in this book provide an introduction to the avenues that one can employ to include text in a meaningful way in the analysis of these functional genomics data sets. They serve as a complement to the statistical methods such as classification and clustering that are commonly employed to analyze data sets. We are hopeful that this book will serve to encourage the reader to utilize and further develop text mining in their own analyses.
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