Summarizing medical texts for effective retrieval
User centered health information retrieval is a challenging and important problem in information retrieval. In this work, we apply medical resources to bridge the vocabulary mismatch between lay-users and medical documents. We also applied text summarization techniques to reduce the document to relevant information while pruning irrelevant information. We provide a survey of medical resources and application of text summarization in information retrieval. The primary research goals were to investigate the use of medical resources in query expansion and text summarization in indexing. The experiments were performed as a part of a CLEF eHealth Task, overview of which is provided. From our experiments we observed that a summarized index can be used to replace a full collection index. Also a compression rate of 40-80% outperformed the baseline indicating that retrieval on the summarized collection can indeed improve performance. Using MeSH(Medical Subject Headings) as a thesaurus to supplement the query terms improved retrieval for certain queries. We obtained the best MAP score of 0.415, for all teams, using query expansion with discharge summaries.
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