Document Detail

Question-answering systems as efficient sources of terminological information: an evaluation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21050369     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
BACKGROUND: Question-answering systems (or QA Systems) stand as a new alternative for Information Retrieval Systems. Most users frequently need to retrieve specific information about a factual question to obtain a whole document.
OBJECTIVES: The study evaluates the efficiency of QA systems as terminological sources for physicians, specialised translators and users in general. It assesses the performance of one open-domain QA system, START, and one restricted-domain QA system, MedQA.
METHOD: The study collected two hundred definitional questions (What is…?), either general or specialised, from the health website WebMD. Sources used by the open-domain QA system, START, and the restricted-domain QA system, MedQA, were studied to retrieve answers, and later a range of evaluation measures (precision, Mean Reciprocal Rank, Total Reciprocal Rank, First Hit Success) were applied to mark the quality of answers.
RESULTS: It was established that both systems are useful in the retrieval of valid definitional healthcare information, with an acceptable degree of coherent and precise responses from both. The answers supplied by MedQA were more reliable that those of START in the sense that they came from specialised clinical or academic sources, most of them showing links to further research articles.
CONCLUSIONS: Results obtained show the potential of this type of tool in the more general realm of information access, and the retrieval of health information. They may be considered a good, reliable and reasonably precise alternative in alleviating the information overload. Both QA systems can help professionals and users can obtain healthcare information.
María-Dolores Olvera-Lobo; Juncal Gutiérrez-Artacho
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Health information and libraries journal     Volume:  27     ISSN:  1471-1842     ISO Abbreviation:  Health Info Libr J     Publication Date:  2010 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-11-05     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100970070     Medline TA:  Health Info Libr J     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  268-76     Citation Subset:  H    
Copyright Information:
© 2010 The authors. Health Information and Libraries Journal © 2010 Health Libraries Group.
Grupo Scimago, Unidad Asociada CSIC, Madrid, Spain.
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