On the impact of domain expertise on query formulation, relevance assessment and retrieval performance in clinical settings

Lynda Tamine, Cecile Chouquet
2017 Information Processing & Management  
The large volumes of medical information available on the web may provide answers for a wide range of users attempting to solve health-related problems. While experts generally utilize reliable resources for diagnosis search and professional development, novices utilize different (social) web resources to obtain information that helps them manage their health or the health of people who they care for. A diverse number of related search topics address clinical diagnosis, advice searching,
more » ... tion sharing, connecting with experts, etc. This article focuses on the extent to which expertise can impact clinical query formulation, document relevance assessment and retrieval performance in the context of tailoring retrieval models and systems to experts vs. non-experts. The results show that medical domain expertise 1) plays an important role in the lexical representations of information needs; 2) significantly influences the perception of relevance even among users with similar levels of expertise and 3) reinforces the idea that a single ground truth doesn't exist, thereby leading to the variability of system rankings with respect to the level of user's expertise. The findings of this study presents opportunities for the design of personalized health-related IR systems, but also for providing insights about the evaluation of such systems.
doi:10.1016/j.ipm.2016.11.004 fatcat:ekgnxyvzurcbha35n64jxs7o5a