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Finding Relevant Passages in Scientific Articles: Fusion of Automatic Approaches vs. an Interactive Team Effort.
This paper presents our approach to retargeting the information retrieval systems designed and/or optimized for retrieval of MEDLINE citations to the task of finding relevant passages in the text of scientific articles. To continue using our TREC 2005 fusion approach, we needed a common representation for the full text biomedical articles to be shared by the four base systems (Essie, SMART, EasyIR and Theme.) The base systems relied upon previously developed NLP, statistical and ML methods. The fusion of the automatic runs improved the results of three contributing base systems at 99.9% significance level on all metrics: document, passage, and aspect precision. The fusion run outperformed Essie, the best of the base systems, at 94% to 99% significance level, with the exception of passage precision. The novelty of the task and the lack of training data inspired our exploration of an interactive approach. The prohibitive cost (in time and domain expert effort) required for a truly interactive retrieval led to a team interaction with one of the base systems - Essie. The initial queries were developed by a computational biologist and a medical librarian. The librarian merged and then refined the queries upon inspecting the initial search results. The refined queries were submitted as a batch without further interaction with the system. The interactive results, the best we achieved, improved over the baseline automatic Essie run at the 91% significance level. The difference between the fusion and the interactive results is not statistically significant.