Effects of Language and Terminology of Query Suggestions on the Precision of Health Searches

  • Carla Teixeira LopesEmail author
  • Cristina Ribeiro
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11018)


Health information is highly sought on the Web by users that naturally have different levels of expertise in the topics they search for. Assisting users with query formulation is important when users are searching for topics about which they have little knowledge or familiarity. To assist users with health query formulation, we developed a query suggestion system that provides alternative queries combining Portuguese and English language with lay and medico-scientific terminology. Here, we analyze how this system affects the precision of search sessions. Results show that a system providing these suggestions tends to perform better than a system without them. On specific groups of users, clicking on suggestions has positive effects on precision while using them as sources of new terms has the opposite effect. This suggests that a personalized suggestion system might have a good impact on precision.


Query suggestion Health Language Terminology English proficiency Health literacy Topic familiarity 



This work was supported by Project “NORTE-01-0145- FEDER-000016” (NanoSTIMA), financed by the North Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, and through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DEI, Faculdade de EngenhariaUniversidade do Porto and INESC TECPortoPortugal

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