Gauging the Internet Doctor: Ranking Medical Facts based on Community Knowledge
published: Oct. 7, 2011, recorded: August 2011, views: 98
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As more and more content is published and consumed online, it is imperative to know if an information nugget found on the Web is trustworthy or not. This is especially important for online medical information as it affects the most vulnerable group of users looking for medical help online. In this paper, we study the feasibility of automatically assessing the trustworthiness of a medical claim based on community knowledge, and propose techniques to assign a reliability score for an information nugget based on support over a community-generated collection. Specifically, we model the trustworthiness of a medical claim based on experiences shared by users in health forums and mailing lists. The proposed claim scores can be used to rank related claims on their relative trustworthiness. We further extend the notion of trustworthiness to a site (or equivalently, a database of claims from the site) and propose a scheme to rank sites based on aggregating the trust scores of claims from the site. Our experiments show that community knowledge can be exploited to help users distinguish reliable medical claims from unreliable ones. The proposed techniques can be applied to other domains where similar corpora are available.
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