MedicoPort: A medical search engine for all

Can A., Baykal N.

COMPUTER METHODS AND PROGRAMS IN BIOMEDICINE, vol.86, no.1, pp.73-86, 2007 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 86 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2007.01.007
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.73-86
  • Keywords: medical information retrieval, UMLS, topical crawler, Internet, INFORMATION-RETRIEVAL, HEALTH INFORMATION


We present a new next generation domain search engine called MedicoPort. MedicoPort is a medical search engine designed for the users with no medical expertise. It is enhanced with the domain knowledge obtained from Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) to increase the effectiveness of the searches. The power of the system is based on the ability to understand the semantics of web pages and the user queries. MedicoPort transforms a keyword search into a conceptual search. Through our system we present a topical web crawling technique and indexing techniques empowered by the semantics information. MedicoPort aims to generate maximum output with semantic value using minimum input from the user. Since MedicoPort is designed to help people seeking information about health on the web, our target users are not medical specialists who can effectively use the special jargon of medicine and access medical databases. Medical experts have the advantage of shrinking the answerset by expressing several terms using medical terminology. MedicoPort provides the same advantage to its users through the automated use of the medical domain knowledge in the background. The results of our experiments indicate that, expanding the queries with domain knowledge, such as using the synonyms and partially or contextually relevant terms from UMLS, increase dramatically the relevance of an answer set produced by MedicoPort and the number of retrieved web pages that are relevant to the user request. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.