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Doctor Recommendation in Online Health Forums via Expertise Learning

by   Xiaoxin Lu, et al.

Huge volumes of patient queries are daily generated on online health forums, rendering manual doctor allocation a labor-intensive task. To better help patients, this paper studies a novel task of doctor recommendation to enable automatic pairing of a patient to a doctor with relevant expertise. While most prior work in recommendation focuses on modeling target users from their past behavior, we can only rely on the limited words in a query to infer a patient's needs for privacy reasons. For doctor modeling, we study the joint effects of their profiles and previous dialogues with other patients and explore their interactions via self-learning. The learned doctor embeddings are further employed to estimate their capabilities of handling a patient query with a multi-head attention mechanism. For experiments, a large-scale dataset is collected from Chunyu Yisheng, a Chinese online health forum, where our model exhibits the state-of-the-art results, outperforming baselines only consider profiles and past dialogues to characterize a doctor.


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