Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Semantic-Enhanced Query Expansion System for Retrieving Medical Image Notes. J Med Syst 2018 Apr 25;42(6):105



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85046355051   3 Citations


Most current image retrieval methods require constructing semantic metadata for representing image content. To manually create semantic metadata for medical images is time-consuming, yet it is a crucial component for query expansion. We proposed a new method for searching medical image notes that uses semantic metadata to improve query expansion and leverages a knowledge model developed specifically for the medical image domain to create relevant metadata. We used a syntactic parser and the Unified Medical Language System to analyze the corpus and store text information as semantic metadata in a knowledge model. Our new method has an interactive interface that allows users to provide relevance feedback and construct new queries more efficiently. Sixteen medical professionals evaluated the query expansion module, and each evaluator had prior experience searching for medical images. When using the initial query as the baseline standard, expanded queries achieved a performance boost of 22.6% in terms of the relevance score on first ten results (P-value<0.05). When using Google as another baseline, our system performed 24.6% better in terms of relevance score on the first ten results (P-value<0.05). Overall, 75% of the evaluators said the semantic-enhanced query expansion workflow is logical, easy to follow, and comfortable to use. In addition, 62% of the evaluators preferred using our system instead of Google. Evaluators who were positive about our system found the knowledge map-based visualization of candidate medical search terms helpful in refining cases from the initial search results.

Author List

Zhao Y, Fesharaki NJ, Li X, Patrick TB, Luo J


Jake Luo Ph.D. Associate Professor; Director, Center for Biomedical Data and Language Processing (BioDLP) in the Health Informatics & Administration department at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Diagnostic Imaging
Information Storage and Retrieval
User-Computer Interface