Vaidurya: A multiple-ontology, concept-based, context-sensitive clinical-guideline search engine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We designed and implemented a generic search engine (Vaidurya), as part of our Digital clinical-Guideline Library (DeGeL) framework. Two search methods were implemented in addition to full-text search: (1) concept-based search, which relies on pre-indexing the guidelines in a clinically meaningful fashion, and (2) context-sensitive search, which relies on first semi-structuring the guidelines according to a given ontology, then searching for terms within specific labeled text segments. The Vaidurya engine is fully functional and is used within the DeGeL system. We describe the Vaidurya ontological and algorithmic framework; we also briefly summarize the results of a detailed evaluation in the clinical-guideline domain, demonstrating that both concept-based and context-sensitive ontology-independent search are highly feasible and significantly improve on free text search retrieval performance. We conclude by analyzing the limitations and advantages of the approach, and the steps that we have started to take to extend it based on user feedback.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2009


  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • Concept-based search
  • Context-sensitive search
  • Digital libraries
  • Information retrieval
  • Medical informatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics


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