CMedPort: An integrated approach to facilitating Chinese medical information seeking

Yilu Zhou, Jialun Qin, Hsinchun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


As the number of non-English resources available on the Web is increasing rapidly, developing information retrieval techniques for non-English languages is becoming an urgent and challenging issue. In this research to facilitate information seeking in a multilingual world, we focused on discovering how search-engine techniques developed for English could be generalized for use with other languages. We proposed a general framework incorporating a focused collection-building technique, a generic language processing ability, an integration of information resources, and a post-retrieval analysis module. Based on this approach, we developed CMedPort, a Chinese Web portal in the medical domain that not only allows users to search for Web pages from local collections and meta-search engines but also provides encoding conversion between simplified and traditional Chinese to support cross-regional search and document summarization and categorization. User studies were conducted to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of CMedPort with those of three major Chinese search engines. Results indicate that CMedPort achieved similar accuracy for search tasks, but exhibited significantly higher recall than each of the three search engines as well as higher precision than two of the search engines for browse tasks. There were no significant differences among the efficiency measures for CMedPort and benchmarks systems. A post-questionnaire regarding system usability indicated that CMedPort achieved significantly higher user satisfaction than any of the three benchmark systems. The subjects especially liked CMedPort's categorizer, commenting that it helped improve understanding of search results. These encouraging outcomes suggest a promising future for applying our approach to Internet searching and browsing in a multilingual world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1431-1448
Number of pages18
JournalDecision Support Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Categorization
  • Cross-regional search
  • Information retrieval
  • Internet searching and browsing
  • Meta-search
  • Search engine
  • Summarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


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