Expanding user's query with tag-neighbors for effective medical information retrieval

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Journal Article
Multimedia Tools and Applications, 2014, 71 (2), pp. 905 - 929
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Medical information is a natural human demand. Existing search engines on the Web often are unable to handle medical search well because they do not consider its special requirements. Often a medical information searcher is uncertain about his exact questions and unfamiliar with medical terminology. Under-specified queries often lead to undesirable search results that do not contain the information needed. To overcome the limitations of under-specified queries, we utilize tags to enhance information retrieval capabilities by expanding users' original queries with context-relevant information. We compute a set of significant tag neighbor candidates based on the neighbor frequency and weight, and utilize the qualified tag neighbors to expand an entry query. The proposed approach is evaluated by using MedWorm medical article collection and results show considerable precision improvements over state-of-the-art approaches. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
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