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Home  >  Volume 53

21. SMS-BASED HEALTHCARE FAQ INFORMATION RETRIEVAL SYSTEM by Ademola Olusola Adesina Volume 53 (November 2019 Issue)
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Ademola Olusola Adesina

Department of Mathematical Sciences, (Computer Science Unit),

Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria


The goal of efficient information retrieval in a question and answer database is to present the best answer to a user’s request. If the information need is not met by the user there is a probability of search abandonment or query reformulation. This action may have come up as a result of the use of non-standard words created by the wrong spelling, acronym, abbreviation, and contractions that are un/deliberately used for the search. When this happens, relevant results are far presented for the information needs of the user hence leads to user’s dissatisfaction. Short message service (SMS) is full of such features, hence motivates this research. The concern of this paper is to initiate an SMS-based query into a frequently asked question (FAQ) search engine in a healthcare domain. In the early stage of the experiment, the SMS word underwent the normalization process to become a normalized SMS word. The normalized SMS word is then used to query the search engine. An information retrieval algorithm was developed that works on the similarity between the normalized SMS terms and FAQ collections. The research questions consider the system design of a robust SMS-based FAQ architecture, the measurement of the retrieval qualities of the algorithm, and the speed of retrieval measured in terms of computational speed. The evaluation was carried out based on the three information retrieval metrics – precision, recall and retrieval time. The results are compared with the two existing retrieval algorithms.

Keywords: Information retrieval (IR), Short message service (SMS), Text message, Frequently asked question (FAQ), HIV/AIDS, mobile health (mHealth), Question and answer (Q&A) system