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A Concept Space Approach to Addressing the Vocabulary Problem in Scientific Information Retrieval: An Experiment on the Worm Community System

A Concept Space Approach to Addressing the Vocabulary Problem in Scientific Information Retrieval: An Experiment on the Worm Community System,10.1002/

A Concept Space Approach to Addressing the Vocabulary Problem in Scientific Information Retrieval: An Experiment on the Worm Community System   (Citations: 111)
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This research presents an algorithmic approach to ad- dressing the vocabulary problem in scientific information retrieval and information sharing, using the molecular biol- ogy domain as an example. We first present a literature review of cognitive stud!es related to the vcrcabulaw prob- lem and vocabulary-based search aids (thesauri) and then discuss technques for building robust and domain-spe- cific thesauri to assist in cross-domain scientific informa- tion retrieval. Using a variation of the automatic thesaurus generation techniques, which we refer to as the concept space approach, we racentiy conducted an experiment in the molecular biology domain in whch we created a C. eksgans worm thesaurus of 7,657 worm-specific terms and a Drosophila fty thesaurus of 15,626 terms. About 30% of these terms overtappad, which created vocabulary paths from one subject domain to the other. Based on a cognitive study of term association involving four biologists, we found that a large percentage (59.6-85.6"A ) of the terms suggested by the subjects were identified in the conjoined fly-worm thesaurus. However, we found only a small par- entage (6.4-18.1 %) of the associations suggested by the subjects in the thesaurus. In a follow-up document retrieval study involving eight fly biologists, an actual worm data- base (Worm Community System), and the conjoined fly- wonn thesaurus, subjects were able to find more relevant documents (an increase from about 9 documents to 20) and to improve the document recall level (from 32.41 to 65.28% ) when using the thesaurus, although the precision level did not improve significantly. Implications of adopting the concept space approach for addressing the vocabulary
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