Information Retrieval by Semantic Similarity

Information Retrieval by Semantic Similarity

Angelos Hliaoutakis (Technical University of Crete (TUC), Greece), Giannis Varelas (Technical University of Crete (TUC), Greece), Epimenidis Voutsakis (Technical University of Crete (TUC), Greece), Euripides G.M. Petrakis (Technical University of Crete (TUC), Greece) and Evangelos Milios (Dalhousie University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-050-9.ch048
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Semantic Similarity relates to computing the similarity between conceptually similar but not necessarily lexically similar terms. Typically, semantic similarity is computed by mapping terms to an ontology and by examining their relationships in that ontology. We investigate approaches to computing the semantic similarity between natural language terms (using WordNet as the underlying reference ontology) and between medical terms (using the MeSH ontology of medical and biomedical terms). The most popular semantic similarity methods are implemented and evaluated using WordNet and MeSH. Building upon semantic similarity, we propose the Semantic Similarity based Retrieval Model (SSRM), a novel information retrieval method capable for discovering similarities between documents containing conceptually similar terms. The most effective semantic similarity method is implemented into SSRM. SSRM has been applied in retrieval on OHSUMED (a standard TREC collection available on the Web). The experimental results demonstrated promising performance improvements over classic information retrieval methods utilizing plain lexical matching (e.g., Vector Space Model) and also over state-of-theart semantic similarity retrieval methods utilizing ontologies.

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