Using Background Knowledge to Rank Itemsets

Abstract. Assessing the quality of discovered results is an important open problem in data mining. Such assessment is particularly vital when mining itemsets, since commonly many of the discovered patterns can be easily explained by background knowledge. The simplest approach to screen uninteresting patterns is to compare the observed frequency against the independence model. Since the parameters for the independence model are the column margins, we can view such screening as a way of using the column margins as background knowledge. In this paper we study techniques for more flexible approaches for infusing background knowledge. Namely, we show that we can efficiently use additional knowledge such as row margins, lazarus counts, and bounds of ones. We demonstrate that these statistics describe forms of data that occur in practice and have been studied in data mining. To infuse the information efficiently we use a maximum entropy approach. In its general setting, solving a maximum entropy model is infeasible, but we demonstrate that for our setting it can be solved in polynomial time. Experiments show that more sophisticated models fit the data better and that using more information improves the frequency prediction of itemsets.

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Using Background Knowledge to Rank Itemsets by Nikolaj Tatti and Michael Mampaey in Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, Vol. 21, nr. 2, 2010