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ArXiv Preprint

Question Answering (QA) on Electronic Health Records (EHR), namely EHR QA, can work as a crucial milestone towards developing an intelligent agent in healthcare. EHR data are typically stored in a relational database, which can also be converted to a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), allowing two approaches for EHR QA: Table-based QA and Knowledge Graph-based QA. We hypothesize that the graph-based approach is more suitable for EHR QA as graphs can represent relations between entities and values more naturally compared to tables, which essentially require JOIN operations. To validate our hypothesis, we first construct EHR QA datasets based on MIMIC-III, where the same question-answer pairs are represented in SQL (table-based) and SPARQL (graph-based), respectively. We then test a state-of-the-art EHR QA model on both datasets where the model demonstrated superior QA performance on the SPARQL version. Finally, we open-source both MIMICSQL* and MIMIC-SPARQL* to encourage further EHR QA research in both direction

Junwoo Park, Youngwoo Cho, Haneol Lee, Jaegul Choo, Edward Choi

2020-10-19