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Can Word Embedding Help Term Mismatch Problem?–A Result Analysis on Clinical Retrieval Tasks

Zhang, Danchen and He, Daqing (2018) Can Word Embedding Help Term Mismatch Problem?–A Result Analysis on Clinical Retrieval Tasks. International Conference on Information.

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Clinical Decision Support (CDS) systems assist doctors to make clinical decisions by searching for medical literature based on patients’ medical records. Past studies showed that correctly predicting patient’s diagnosis can significantly increase the performance of such clinical retrieval systems. However, our studies showed that there are still a large portion of relevant documents ranked very low due to term mismatch problem. Different to other retrieval tasks, queries issued to this clinical retrieval system have already been expanded with the most informative terms for disease prediction. It is therefore a great challenge for traditional Pseudo Relevance Feedback (PRF) methods to incorporate new informative terms from top K pseudo relevant documents. Consequently, we explore in this paper word embedding for obtaining further improvements because the word vectors were all trained on much larger collections and they can identify words that are used in similar contexts. Our study utilized test collections from the CDS track in TREC 2015, trained on 2014 data. Experiment results show that word embedding can significantly improve retrieval performance, and term mismatch problem can be largely resolved, particularly for the low ranked relevant documents. However, for highly ranked documents with less term mismatching problem, word emending’s improvement can also be replaced by a traditional language model.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zhang, Danchendaz45@pitt.eduDAZ45
He, Daqingdah44@pitt.eduDAH44
Date: 2018
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: International Conference on Information
Publisher: Springer, Cham
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/978-3-319-78105-1_44
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Information Science
Refereed: No
Official URL:
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 23 May 2019 19:36
Last Modified: 23 May 2019 19:36


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