Mona Alshahrani Ph.D. Defense | Knowledge Graph Representation Learning: Approaches and Applications in Biomedicine

KAUST BORG PhD Defense Mona Alshahrani during Presentation

Mona Alshahrani a Ph.D. candidate under the supervision of Professor Robert Hoehndorf Defended her Ph.D. thesis "Knowledge Graph Representation Learning: Approaches and Applications in Biomedicine"


Bio-ontologies and Linked Data have become an integral part of biological and biomedical knowledge bases with over 500 of them and millions of triples. Such knowledge bases are primarily developed for information retrieval, query processing, data integration, standardization, and provision. Developing machine learning methods which can exploit the background knowledge in such resources for predictive analysis and novel discovery in the biomedical domain has become essential. In this dissertation, we present novel approaches which utilize the plethora of data sets made available as bio-ontologies and Linked Data in a single unified framework as knowledge graphs. We utilize representation learning with knowledge graphs and introduce generic models for addressing and tackling computational problems of major implications to human health, such as predicting disease-gene associations and drugs repurposing. We also show that our methods can compensate for incomplete information in public databases and can smoothly facilitate integration with biomedical literature for similar prediction tasks. Furthermore, we demonstrate that our methods can learn and extract features that outperform relevant methods, which rely on manually crafted features and laborious features engineering and pre-processing. Finally, we present a systematic evaluation of knowledge graph representation learning techniques and demonstrate their potential applications for data analytics in biomedicine.

Brief Biography

Mona Alshahrani joined KAUST in 2013 and completed her M.Sc degree in 2015. Before that, she obtained her B.Sc in Computer Science from Jubail University College, Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student at the Bio-Ontology Research Group (BORG) focusing on machine and deep learning methods with knowledge graphs and their applications in biomedicine.