Understanding negation and family history to improve clinical information retrieval

Koopman, Bevan & Zuccon, Guido (2014) Understanding negation and family history to improve clinical information retrieval. In ACM SIGIR 2014 : The 37th Annual ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval Conference, 6 - 11 July 2014, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland, Australia. (In Press)

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We present a study to understand the effect that negated terms (e.g., "no fever") and family history (e.g., "family history of diabetes") have on searching clinical records. Our analysis is aimed at devising the most effective means of handling negation and family history. In doing so, we explicitly represent a clinical record according to its different content types: negated, family history and normal content; the retrieval model weights each of these separately. Empirical evaluation shows that overall the presence of negation harms retrieval effectiveness while family history has little effect. We show negation is best handled by weighting negated content (rather than the common practise of removing or replacing it). However, we also show that many queries benefit from the inclusion of negated content and that negation is optimally handled on a per-query basis. Additional evaluation shows that adaptive handing of negated and family history content can have significant benefits.

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ID Code: 72101
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: information retrieval, health informatics, negation, measurement, experimentation
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700) > Information Retrieval and Web Search (080704)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > Schools > School of Information Systems
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 25 May 2014 22:31
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2014 13:32

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