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Endometriosis, The Turning Point of my Life

April 17th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Endometriosis (from endo, “inside”, and metra, “womb”) is a medical condition in women in which endometrial cells are deposited in areas outside the uterine cavity. The uterine cavity is lined by endometrial cells, which are under the influence of female hormones. Endometrial cells deposited in areas outside the uterus (endometriosis) continue to be influenced by these hormonal changes and respond similarly as do those cells found inside the uterus. Symptoms often exacerbate in time with the menstrual cycle. Endometriosis is typically seen during the reproductive years; it has been estimated that it occurs in roughly 5% to 10% of women. Symptoms depend on the site of implantation. Its main but not universal symptom is pelvic pain in various manifestations. Endometriosis is a common finding in women with infertility.

Excerpts from Wikipedia (Original Link

Professionally, this word “Endometriosis” served as a turning point in forcing me to think beyond and invent better technology for text processing systems. As you know, I am a text mining scientist. My full time job is to make computers understand English text.  Lately, I had built a system that would identify context of supplied text (I process Resumes and Jobs) based on co-occurrence patterns.  When I clarified for “secretary” in my system, the system came back and said “endometriosis” is the closest keyword in the same context.  I was perplexed and decided to tract the source.  Interestingly I found that the documents that contained the keyword “endometriosis” were resumes of secretaries who had worked for doctors treating endometriosis.  Here the technique is not wrong, but the data set that is used for building the system was skewed.  To overcome this defect of unsupervised system, I was forced to device an advanced semi-supervised system where noisy and completely-erroneous prediction like above could be taken care of.  This “endometriosis” case has helped me think wider an develop better technology that made my life easy and my inventions more accurate.

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