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Performance evaluation of three semantic expansions to query PubMed

Abstract : Background PubMed is one of the most important basic tools to access medical literature. Semantic query expansion using synonyms can improve retrieval efficacy. Objective The objective was to evaluate the performance of three semantic query expansion strategies. Methods Queries were built for forty MeSH descriptors using three semantic expansion strategies (MeSH synonyms, UMLS mappings, and mappings created by the CISMeF team), then sent to PubMed. To evaluate expansion performances for each query, the first twenty citations were selected, and their relevance were judged by three independent evaluators based on the title and abstract. Results Queries built with the UMLS expansion provided new citations with a slightly higher mean precision (74.19%) than with the CISMeF expansion (70.28%), although the difference was not significant. Inter‐rater agreement was 0.28. Results varied greatly depending on the descriptor selected. Discussion The number of citations retrieved by the three strategies and their precision varied greatly according to the descriptor. This heterogeneity could be explained by the quality of the synonyms. Optimal use of these different expansions would be through various combinations of UMLS and CISMeF intersections or unions. Conclusion Information retrieval tools should propose different semantic expansions depending on the descriptor and the search objectives.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02417189
Contributor : Gaétan Kerdelhué <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 9:27:43 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 1:52:33 AM

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Clément Massonnaud, Romain Lelong, Gaetan Kerdelhué, Émeline Lejeune, Julien Grosjean, et al.. Performance evaluation of three semantic expansions to query PubMed. Health Information and Libraries Journal, Wiley, 2019, ⟨10.1111/hir.12291⟩. ⟨hal-02417189⟩

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