A task-specific query and document representation for medical records search

Limsopatham, N., Macdonald, C. and Ounis, I. (2013) A task-specific query and document representation for medical records search. In: 35th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2013), Moscow, Russia, 24-27 Mar 2013, pp. 747-751. (doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-36973-5_75)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-36973-5_75


One of the challenges of searching in the medical domain is to deal with the complexity and ambiguity of medical terminology. Concept-based representation approaches using terminology from domain-specific resources have been developed to handle such a challenge. However, it has been shown that these techniques are effective only when combined with a traditional term-based representation approach. In this paper, we propose a novel technique to represent medical records and queries by focusing only on medical concepts essential for the information need of a medical search task. Such a representation could enhance retrieval effectiveness since only the medical concepts crucial to the information need are taken into account. We evaluate the retrieval effectiveness of our proposed approach in the context of the TREC 2011 Medical Records track. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, as it significantly outperforms a baseline where all concepts are represented, and markedly outperforms a traditional term-based representation baseline. Moreover, when combining the relevance scores obtained from our technique and a term-based representation approach, the achieved performance is comparable to the best TREC 2011 systems.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Additional Information:ISBN: 9783642369728
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Macdonald, Professor Craig and Ounis, Professor Iadh
Authors: Limsopatham, N., Macdonald, C., and Ounis, I.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science

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