Association discovery

Association discovery includes association rule discovery, subgroup discovery, emerging pattern discovery and contrast discovery.

I have pioneered association discovery techniques that seek the most useful associations, rather than applying the minimum-support constraint more commonly used in the field.  Many of these techniques are included in my Magnum Opus software which is now incorporated in BigML.  Magnum Opus has been widely used in scientific research.

Due to the large numbers of patterns that are considered in association discovery, most techniques typically suffer large risk of type-1 error, that is, of finding patterns that appear interesting only due to chance artifacts of the process by which the sample data were generated.  Most attempts to control this risk have done so at the cost of high risk of type-2 error, that is, of falsely rejecting non-spurious patterns.  I have pioneered strategies for statistically sound pattern discovery, strictly controlling type-1 error during association discovery without the level of risk of type-2 error suffered by previous approaches.

The OPUSMiner statistically sound itemset discovery software can be downloaded here. An R package is available here.

The Skopus statistically sound sequential pattern discovery software can be downloaded here.

ACM SIGKDD 2014 Tutorial on Statistically Sound Pattern Discovery, with Wilhelmiina Hämäläinen.

Publications

A multiple test correction for streams and cascades of statistical hypothesis tests.
Webb, G. I., & Petitjean, F.
Proceedings of the ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, KDD-16, pp. 1255-1264, 2016.
[PDF] [DOI] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{WebbPetitjean16,
Title = {A multiple test correction for streams and cascades of statistical hypothesis tests},
Author = {Webb, Geoffrey I and Petitjean, Francois},
Booktitle = {Proceedings of the ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, KDD-16},
Year = {2016},
Pages = {1255-1264},
Publisher = {ACM Press},
Abstract = {Statistical hypothesis testing is a popular and powerful tool for inferring knowledge from data. For every such test performed, there is always a non-zero probability of making a false discovery, i.e.~rejecting a null hypothesis in error. Familywise error rate (FWER) is the probability of making at least one false discovery during an inference process. The expected FWER grows exponentially with the number of hypothesis tests that are performed, almost guaranteeing that an error will be committed if the number of tests is big enough and the risk is not managed; a problem known as the multiple testing problem. State-of-the-art methods for controlling FWER in multiple comparison settings require that the set of hypotheses be pre-determined. This greatly hinders statistical testing for many modern applications of statistical inference, such as model selection, because neither the set of hypotheses that will be tested, nor even the number of hypotheses, can be known in advance.
This paper introduces Subfamilywise Multiple Testing, a multiple-testing correction that can be used in applications for which there are repeated pools of null hypotheses from each of which a single null hypothesis is to be rejected and neither the specific hypotheses nor their number are known until the final rejection decision is completed.
To demonstrate the importance and relevance of this work to current machine learning problems, we further refine the theory to the problem of model selection and show how to use Subfamilywise Multiple Testing for learning graphical models.
We assess its ability to discover graphical models on more than 7,000 datasets, studying the ability of Subfamilywise Multiple Testing to outperform the state of the art on data with varying size and dimensionality, as well as with varying density and power of the present correlations. Subfamilywise Multiple Testing provides a significant improvement in statistical efficiency, often requiring only half as much data to discover the same model, while strictly controlling FWER.},
Comment = {Top reviewer score (4.75/5.0), shortlisted for best paper award and invited to ACM TKDE journal KDD-16 special issue},
Doi = {10.1145/2939672.2939775},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery and scalable graphical models and Learning from large datasets and DP140100087},
Related = {statistically-sound-association-discovery},
Url = {http://dl.acm.org/authorize?N19100}
}
ABSTRACT Statistical hypothesis testing is a popular and powerful tool for inferring knowledge from data. For every such test performed, there is always a non-zero probability of making a false discovery, i.e.~rejecting a null hypothesis in error. Familywise error rate (FWER) is the probability of making at least one false discovery during an inference process. The expected FWER grows exponentially with the number of hypothesis tests that are performed, almost guaranteeing that an error will be committed if the number of tests is big enough and the risk is not managed; a problem known as the multiple testing problem. State-of-the-art methods for controlling FWER in multiple comparison settings require that the set of hypotheses be pre-determined. This greatly hinders statistical testing for many modern applications of statistical inference, such as model selection, because neither the set of hypotheses that will be tested, nor even the number of hypotheses, can be known in advance. This paper introduces Subfamilywise Multiple Testing, a multiple-testing correction that can be used in applications for which there are repeated pools of null hypotheses from each of which a single null hypothesis is to be rejected and neither the specific hypotheses nor their number are known until the final rejection decision is completed. To demonstrate the importance and relevance of this work to current machine learning problems, we further refine the theory to the problem of model selection and show how to use Subfamilywise Multiple Testing for learning graphical models. We assess its ability to discover graphical models on more than 7,000 datasets, studying the ability of Subfamilywise Multiple Testing to outperform the state of the art on data with varying size and dimensionality, as well as with varying density and power of the present correlations. Subfamilywise Multiple Testing provides a significant improvement in statistical efficiency, often requiring only half as much data to discover the same model, while strictly controlling FWER.

Mining significant association rules from uncertain data.
Zhang, A., Shi, W., & Webb, G. I.
Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 30(4), 928-963, 2016.
[PDF] [DOI] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@Article{ZhangEtAl16,
Title = {Mining significant association rules from uncertain data},
Author = {Zhang, Anshu and Shi, Wenzhong and Webb, Geoffrey I},
Journal = {Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery},
Year = {2016},
Number = {4},
Pages = {928-963},
Volume = {30},
Abstract = {In association rule mining, the trade-off between avoiding harmful spurious rules and preserving authentic ones is an ever critical barrier to obtaining reliable and useful results. The statistically sound technique for evaluating statistical significance of association rules is superior in preventing spurious rules, yet can also cause severe loss of true rules in presence of data error. This study presents a new and improved method for statistical test on association rules with uncertain erroneous data. An original mathematical model was established to describe data error propagation through computational procedures of the statistical test. Based on the error model, a scheme combining analytic and simulative processes was designed to correct the statistical test for distortions caused by data error. Experiments on both synthetic and real-world data show that the method significantly recovers the loss in true rules (reduces type-2 error) due to data error occurring in original statistically sound method. Meanwhile, the new method maintains effective control over the familywise error rate, which is the distinctive advantage of the original statistically sound technique. Furthermore, the method is robust against inaccurate data error probability information and situations not fulfilling the commonly accepted assumption on independent error probabilities of different data items. The method is particularly effective for rules which were most practically meaningful yet sensitive to data error. The method proves promising in enhancing values of association rule mining results and helping users make correct decisions.},
Doi = {10.1007/s10618-015-0446-6},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery},
Publisher = {Springer},
Related = {statistically-sound-association-discovery}
}
ABSTRACT In association rule mining, the trade-off between avoiding harmful spurious rules and preserving authentic ones is an ever critical barrier to obtaining reliable and useful results. The statistically sound technique for evaluating statistical significance of association rules is superior in preventing spurious rules, yet can also cause severe loss of true rules in presence of data error. This study presents a new and improved method for statistical test on association rules with uncertain erroneous data. An original mathematical model was established to describe data error propagation through computational procedures of the statistical test. Based on the error model, a scheme combining analytic and simulative processes was designed to correct the statistical test for distortions caused by data error. Experiments on both synthetic and real-world data show that the method significantly recovers the loss in true rules (reduces type-2 error) due to data error occurring in original statistically sound method. Meanwhile, the new method maintains effective control over the familywise error rate, which is the distinctive advantage of the original statistically sound technique. Furthermore, the method is robust against inaccurate data error probability information and situations not fulfilling the commonly accepted assumption on independent error probabilities of different data items. The method is particularly effective for rules which were most practically meaningful yet sensitive to data error. The method proves promising in enhancing values of association rule mining results and helping users make correct decisions.

Skopus: Mining top-k sequential patterns under leverage.
Petitjean, F., Li, T., Tatti, N., & Webb, G. I.
Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 30(5), 1086-1111, 2016.
[PDF] [DOI] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@Article{PetitjeanEtAl16b,
Title = {Skopus: Mining top-k sequential patterns under leverage},
Author = {Petitjean, Francois
and Li, Tao
and Tatti, Nikolaj
and Webb, Geoffrey I.},
Journal = {Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery},
Year = {2016},
Number = {5},
Pages = {1086-1111},
Volume = {30},
Abstract = {This paper presents a framework for exact discovery of the top-k sequential patterns under Leverage. It combines (1) a novel definition of the expected support for a sequential pattern---a concept on which most interestingness measures directly rely---with (2) Skopus: a new branch-and-bound algorithm for the exact discovery of top-k sequential patterns under a given measure of interest. Our interestingness measure employs the partition approach. A pattern is interesting to the extent that it is more frequent than can be explained by assuming independence between any of the pairs of patterns from which it can be composed. The larger the support compared to the expectation under independence, the more interesting is the pattern. We build on these two elements to exactly extract the k sequential patterns with highest leverage, consistent with our definition of expected support. We conduct experiments on both synthetic data with known patterns and real-world datasets; both experiments confirm the consistency and relevance of our approach with regard to the state of the art.},
Doi = {10.1007/s10618-016-0467-9},
ISSN = {1573-756X},
Keywords = {OPUS and Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery},
Related = {statistically-sound-association-discovery},
Url = {http://rdcu.be/tsDo}
}
ABSTRACT This paper presents a framework for exact discovery of the top-k sequential patterns under Leverage. It combines (1) a novel definition of the expected support for a sequential pattern---a concept on which most interestingness measures directly rely---with (2) Skopus: a new branch-and-bound algorithm for the exact discovery of top-k sequential patterns under a given measure of interest. Our interestingness measure employs the partition approach. A pattern is interesting to the extent that it is more frequent than can be explained by assuming independence between any of the pairs of patterns from which it can be composed. The larger the support compared to the expectation under independence, the more interesting is the pattern. We build on these two elements to exactly extract the k sequential patterns with highest leverage, consistent with our definition of expected support. We conduct experiments on both synthetic data with known patterns and real-world datasets; both experiments confirm the consistency and relevance of our approach with regard to the state of the art.

Scaling log-linear analysis to datasets with thousands of variables.
Petitjean, F., & Webb, G. I.
Proceedings of the 2015 SIAM International Conference on Data Mining, pp. 469-477, 2015.
[URL] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{PetitjeanWebb15,
Title = {Scaling log-linear analysis to datasets with thousands of variables},
Author = {F. Petitjean and G.I. Webb},
Booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2015 {SIAM} International Conference on Data Mining},
Year = {2015},
Pages = {469-477},
Abstract = {Association discovery is a fundamental data mining task. The primary statistical approach to association discovery between variables is log-linear analysis. Classical approaches to log-linear analysis do not scale beyond about ten variables. We have recently shown that, if we ensure that the graph supporting the log-linear model is chordal, log-linear analysis can be applied to datasets with hundreds of variables without sacrificing the statistical soundness [21]. However, further scalability remained limited, because state-of-the-art techniques have to examine every edge at every step of the search. This paper makes the following contributions: 1) we prove that only a very small subset of edges has to be considered at each step of the search; 2) we demonstrate how to efficiently find this subset of edges and 3) we show how to efficiently keep track of the best edges to be subsequently added to the initial model. Our experiments, carried out on real datasets with up to 2000 variables, show that our contributions make it possible to gain about 4 orders of magnitude, making log-linear analysis of datasets with thousands of variables possible in seconds instead of days.},
Comment = {Best Research Paper Honorable Mention Award},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery and scalable graphical models and Learning from large datasets and DP140100087},
Related = {scalable-graphical-modeling},
Url = {http://epubs.siam.org/doi/pdf/10.1137/1.9781611974010.53}
}
ABSTRACT Association discovery is a fundamental data mining task. The primary statistical approach to association discovery between variables is log-linear analysis. Classical approaches to log-linear analysis do not scale beyond about ten variables. We have recently shown that, if we ensure that the graph supporting the log-linear model is chordal, log-linear analysis can be applied to datasets with hundreds of variables without sacrificing the statistical soundness [21]. However, further scalability remained limited, because state-of-the-art techniques have to examine every edge at every step of the search. This paper makes the following contributions: 1) we prove that only a very small subset of edges has to be considered at each step of the search; 2) we demonstrate how to efficiently find this subset of edges and 3) we show how to efficiently keep track of the best edges to be subsequently added to the initial model. Our experiments, carried out on real datasets with up to 2000 variables, show that our contributions make it possible to gain about 4 orders of magnitude, making log-linear analysis of datasets with thousands of variables possible in seconds instead of days.

Efficient Discovery of the Most Interesting Associations.
Webb, G. I., & Vreeken, J.
ACM Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data, 8(3), Art. no. 15, 2014.
[URL] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@Article{WebbVreeken13,
Title = {Efficient Discovery of the Most Interesting Associations},
Author = {G.I. Webb and J. Vreeken},
Journal = {{ACM} Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data},
Year = {2014},
Number = {3},
Volume = {8},
Abstract = {Self-sufficient itemsets have been proposed as an effective approach to summarizing the key associations
in data. However, their computation appears highly demanding, as assessing whether an itemset is selfsufficient
requires consideration of all pairwise partitions of the itemset into pairs of subsets as well as
consideration of all supersets. This paper presents the first published algorithm for efficiently discovering
self-sufficient itemsets. This branch-and-bound algorithm deploys two powerful pruning mechanisms
based on upper-bounds on itemset value and statistical significance level. It demonstrates that finding top-k
productive and non-redundant itemsets, with post processing to identify those that are not independently
productive, can efficiently identify small sets of key associations. We present extensive evaluation of the
strengths and limitations of the technique including comparisons with alternative approaches to finding the
most interesting associations.},
Articlenumber = {15},
Direct-url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2601433},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery and OPUS},
Publisher = {ACM},
Related = {filtered-top-k-association-discovery},
Url = {http://dl.acm.org/authorize?N80829}
}
ABSTRACT Self-sufficient itemsets have been proposed as an effective approach to summarizing the key associations in data. However, their computation appears highly demanding, as assessing whether an itemset is selfsufficient requires consideration of all pairwise partitions of the itemset into pairs of subsets as well as consideration of all supersets. This paper presents the first published algorithm for efficiently discovering self-sufficient itemsets. This branch-and-bound algorithm deploys two powerful pruning mechanisms based on upper-bounds on itemset value and statistical significance level. It demonstrates that finding top-k productive and non-redundant itemsets, with post processing to identify those that are not independently productive, can efficiently identify small sets of key associations. We present extensive evaluation of the strengths and limitations of the technique including comparisons with alternative approaches to finding the most interesting associations.

A Statistically Efficient and Scalable Method for Log-Linear Analysis of High-Dimensional Data.
Petitjean, F., Allison, L., & Webb, G. I.
Proceedings of the 14th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, pp. 480-489, 2014.
[PDF] [URL] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{PetitjeanEtAl14a,
Title = {A Statistically Efficient and Scalable Method for Log-Linear Analysis of High-Dimensional Data},
Author = {F. Petitjean and L. Allison and G.I. Webb},
Booktitle = {Proceedings of the 14th {IEEE} International Conference on Data Mining},
Year = {2014},
Pages = {480-489},
Abstract = {Log-linear analysis is the primary statistical approach to discovering conditional dependencies between the variables of a dataset. A good log-linear analysis method requires both high precision and statistical efficiency. High precision means that the risk of false discoveries should be kept very low. Statistical efficiency means that the method should discover actual associations with as few samples as possible. Classical approaches to log-linear analysis make use of χ2 tests to control this balance between quality and complexity. We present an information-theoretic approach to log-linear analysis. We show that our approach 1) requires significantly fewer samples to discover the true associations than statistical approaches -- statistical efficiency -- 2) controls for the risk of false discoveries as well as statistical approaches -- high precision - and 3) can perform the discovery on datasets with hundreds of variables on a standard desktop computer -- computational efficiency.},
Comment = {One of nine papers invited to Knowledge and Information Systems journal ICDM-14 special issue},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery and scalable graphical models and DP140100087},
Related = {scalable-graphical-modeling},
Url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICDM.2014.23}
}
ABSTRACT Log-linear analysis is the primary statistical approach to discovering conditional dependencies between the variables of a dataset. A good log-linear analysis method requires both high precision and statistical efficiency. High precision means that the risk of false discoveries should be kept very low. Statistical efficiency means that the method should discover actual associations with as few samples as possible. Classical approaches to log-linear analysis make use of χ2 tests to control this balance between quality and complexity. We present an information-theoretic approach to log-linear analysis. We show that our approach 1) requires significantly fewer samples to discover the true associations than statistical approaches -- statistical efficiency -- 2) controls for the risk of false discoveries as well as statistical approaches -- high precision - and 3) can perform the discovery on datasets with hundreds of variables on a standard desktop computer -- computational efficiency.

Scaling log-linear analysis to high-dimensional data.
Petitjean, F., Webb, G. I., & Nicholson, A. E.
Proceedings of the 13th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, pp. 597-606, 2013.
[PDF] [DOI] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{PetitjeanEtAl13,
Title = {Scaling log-linear analysis to high-dimensional data},
Author = {F. Petitjean and G. I. Webb and A. E. Nicholson},
Booktitle = {Proceedings of the 13th {IEEE} International Conference on Data Mining},
Year = {2013},
Pages = {597-606},
Abstract = {Association discovery is a fundamental data mining task. The primary statistical approach to association discovery between variables is log-linear analysis. Classical approaches to log-linear analysis do not scale beyond about ten variables. We develop an efficient approach to log-linear analysis that scales to hundreds of variables by melding the classical statistical machinery of log-linear analysis with advanced data mining techniques from association discovery and graphical modeling.},
Doi = {10.1109/ICDM.2013.17},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery and scalable graphical models and Learning from large datasets and DP140100087},
Related = {scalable-graphical-modeling}
}
ABSTRACT Association discovery is a fundamental data mining task. The primary statistical approach to association discovery between variables is log-linear analysis. Classical approaches to log-linear analysis do not scale beyond about ten variables. We develop an efficient approach to log-linear analysis that scales to hundreds of variables by melding the classical statistical machinery of log-linear analysis with advanced data mining techniques from association discovery and graphical modeling.

Filtered-top-k Association Discovery.
Webb, G. I.
WIREs Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 1(3), 183-192, 2011.
[PDF] [DOI] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@Article{Webb11,
Title = {Filtered-top-k Association Discovery},
Author = {G.I. Webb},
Journal = {WIREs Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery},
Year = {2011},
Number = {3},
Pages = {183-192},
Volume = {1},
Abstract = {Association mining has been one of the most intensively researched areas of data mining. However, direct uptake of the resulting technologies has been relatively low. This paper examines some of the reasons why the dominant paradigms in association mining have not lived up to their promise, and argues that a powerful alternative is provided by top-k techniques coupled with appropriate statistical and other filtering.},
Doi = {10.1002/widm.28},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery},
Publisher = {Wiley},
Related = {filtered-top-k-association-discovery}
}
ABSTRACT Association mining has been one of the most intensively researched areas of data mining. However, direct uptake of the resulting technologies has been relatively low. This paper examines some of the reasons why the dominant paradigms in association mining have not lived up to their promise, and argues that a powerful alternative is provided by top-k techniques coupled with appropriate statistical and other filtering.

Self-Sufficient Itemsets: An Approach to Screening Potentially Interesting Associations Between Items.
Webb, G. I.
ACM Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data, 4, Art. no. 3, 2010.
[URL] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@Article{Webb10,
Title = {Self-Sufficient Itemsets: An Approach to Screening Potentially Interesting Associations Between Items},
Author = {G.I. Webb},
Journal = {{ACM} Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data},
Year = {2010},
Volume = {4},
Abstract = {Self-sufficient itemsets are those whose frequency cannot explained solely by the frequency of either their subsets or of their
supersets. We argue that itemsets that are not
self-sufficient will often be of little interest to the data
analyst, as their frequency should be expected once that of the
itemsets on which their frequency depends is known. We present
statistical tests for statistically sound discovery of
self-sufficient itemsets, and computational techniques that allow
those tests to be applied as a post-processing step for any itemset
discovery algorithm. We also present a measure for assessing the degree of potential interest in an itemset that complements these statistical measures.},
Articlenumber = {3},
Issue = {1},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery and OPUS},
Publisher = {ACM},
Related = {filtered-top-k-association-discovery},
Url = {http://dl.acm.org/authorize?270473}
}
ABSTRACT Self-sufficient itemsets are those whose frequency cannot explained solely by the frequency of either their subsets or of their supersets. We argue that itemsets that are not self-sufficient will often be of little interest to the data analyst, as their frequency should be expected once that of the itemsets on which their frequency depends is known. We present statistical tests for statistically sound discovery of self-sufficient itemsets, and computational techniques that allow those tests to be applied as a post-processing step for any itemset discovery algorithm. We also present a measure for assessing the degree of potential interest in an itemset that complements these statistical measures.

Supervised Descriptive Rule Discovery: A Unifying Survey of Contrast Set, Emerging Pattern and Subgroup Mining.
Novak, P., Lavrac, N., & Webb, G. I.
Journal of Machine Learning Research, 10, 377-403, 2009.
[URL] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@Article{NovakLavracWebb09,
Title = {Supervised Descriptive Rule Discovery: A Unifying Survey of Contrast Set, Emerging Pattern and Subgroup Mining},
Author = {P. Novak and N. Lavrac and G.I. Webb},
Journal = {Journal of Machine Learning Research},
Year = {2009},
Pages = {377-403},
Volume = {10},
Abstract = {This paper gives a survey of contrast set mining (CSM), emerging pattern mining (EPM), and subgroup discovery (SD) in a unifying framework named supervised descriptive rule discovery. While all these research areas aim at discovering patterns in the form of rules induced from labeled data, they use different terminology and task definitions, claim to have different goals, claim to use different rule learning heuristics, and use different means for selecting subsets of induced patterns. This paper contributes a novel understanding of these subareas of data mining by presenting a unified terminology, by explaining the apparent differences between the learning tasks as variants of a unique supervised descriptive rule discovery task and by exploring the apparent differences between the approaches. It also shows that various rule learning heuristics used in CSM, EPM and SD algorithms all aim at optimizing a trade off between rule coverage and precision. The commonalities (and differences) between the approaches are showcased on a selection of best known variants of CSM, EPM and SD algorithms. The paper also provides a critical survey of existing supervised descriptive rule discovery visualization methods.},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and OPUS},
Related = {filtered-top-k-association-discovery},
Url = {http://www.jmlr.org/papers/volume10/kralj-novak09a/kralj-novak09a.pdf}
}
ABSTRACT This paper gives a survey of contrast set mining (CSM), emerging pattern mining (EPM), and subgroup discovery (SD) in a unifying framework named supervised descriptive rule discovery. While all these research areas aim at discovering patterns in the form of rules induced from labeled data, they use different terminology and task definitions, claim to have different goals, claim to use different rule learning heuristics, and use different means for selecting subsets of induced patterns. This paper contributes a novel understanding of these subareas of data mining by presenting a unified terminology, by explaining the apparent differences between the learning tasks as variants of a unique supervised descriptive rule discovery task and by exploring the apparent differences between the approaches. It also shows that various rule learning heuristics used in CSM, EPM and SD algorithms all aim at optimizing a trade off between rule coverage and precision. The commonalities (and differences) between the approaches are showcased on a selection of best known variants of CSM, EPM and SD algorithms. The paper also provides a critical survey of existing supervised descriptive rule discovery visualization methods.

Layered Critical Values: A Powerful Direct-Adjustment Approach to Discovering Significant Patterns.
Webb, G. I.
Machine Learning, 71(2-3), 307-323 [Technical Note], 2008.
[DOI] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@Article{Webb08,
Title = {Layered Critical Values: A Powerful Direct-Adjustment Approach to Discovering Significant Patterns},
Author = {G.I. Webb},
Journal = {Machine Learning},
Year = {2008},
Number = {2-3},
Pages = {307-323 [Technical Note]},
Volume = {71},
Abstract = {Standard pattern discovery techniques, such as association rules, suffer an extreme risk of finding very large numbers of spurious patterns for many knowledge discovery tasks. The direct-adjustment approach to controlling this risk applies a statistical test during the discovery process, using a critical value adjusted to take account of the size of the search space. However, a problem with the direct-adjustment strategy is that it may discard numerous true patterns. This paper investigates the assignment of different critical values to different areas of the search space as an approach to alleviating this problem, using a variant of a technique originally developed for other purposes. This approach is shown to be effective at increasing the number of discoveries while still maintaining strict control over the risk of false discoveries.},
Address = {Netherlands},
Audit-trail = {DOI 10.1007/s10994-008-5046-x},
Doi = {10.1007/s10994-008-5046-x},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery and OPUS},
Notes = {Technical Note},
Publisher = {Springer},
Related = {statistically-sound-association-discovery}
}
ABSTRACT Standard pattern discovery techniques, such as association rules, suffer an extreme risk of finding very large numbers of spurious patterns for many knowledge discovery tasks. The direct-adjustment approach to controlling this risk applies a statistical test during the discovery process, using a critical value adjusted to take account of the size of the search space. However, a problem with the direct-adjustment strategy is that it may discard numerous true patterns. This paper investigates the assignment of different critical values to different areas of the search space as an approach to alleviating this problem, using a variant of a technique originally developed for other purposes. This approach is shown to be effective at increasing the number of discoveries while still maintaining strict control over the risk of false discoveries.

Discovering Significant Patterns.
Webb, G. I.
Machine Learning, 68(1), 1-33, 2007.
[DOI] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@Article{Webb07,
Title = {Discovering Significant Patterns},
Author = {G.I. Webb},
Journal = {Machine Learning},
Year = {2007},
Number = {1},
Pages = {1-33},
Volume = {68},
Abstract = {Exploratory pattern discovery techniques, such as association rule discovery, explore large search spaces of potential patterns to find those that satisfy some user-specified constraints. Due to the large number of patterns considered, they suffer from an extreme risk of type-1 error, that is, of finding patterns that appear due to chance alone to satisfy the constraints on the sample data. This paper proposes techniques to overcome this problem by applying well-established statistical practices. These allow the user to enforce a strict upper limit on the risk of experimentwise error. Empirical studies demonstrate that standard exploratory pattern discovery techniques can discover numerous spurious patterns when applied to random data and when applied to real-world data result in large numbers of patterns that are rejected when subjected to statistical evaluation on holdout data. They also reveal that modification of the pattern discovery process to anticipate subsequent statistical evaluation can increase the number of patterns that are accepted by statistical evaluation on holdout data.},
Address = {Netherlands},
Audit-trail = {subject to revisions},
Doi = {10.1007/s10994-007-5006-x},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery and OPUS},
Publisher = {Springer},
Related = {statistically-sound-association-discovery}
}
ABSTRACT Exploratory pattern discovery techniques, such as association rule discovery, explore large search spaces of potential patterns to find those that satisfy some user-specified constraints. Due to the large number of patterns considered, they suffer from an extreme risk of type-1 error, that is, of finding patterns that appear due to chance alone to satisfy the constraints on the sample data. This paper proposes techniques to overcome this problem by applying well-established statistical practices. These allow the user to enforce a strict upper limit on the risk of experimentwise error. Empirical studies demonstrate that standard exploratory pattern discovery techniques can discover numerous spurious patterns when applied to random data and when applied to real-world data result in large numbers of patterns that are rejected when subjected to statistical evaluation on holdout data. They also reveal that modification of the pattern discovery process to anticipate subsequent statistical evaluation can increase the number of patterns that are accepted by statistical evaluation on holdout data.

Efficiently Identifying Exploratory Rules' Significance.
Huang, S., & Webb, G. I.
LNAI State-of-the-Art Survey series, 'Data Mining: Theory, Methodology, Techniques, and Applications', Berlin/Heidelberg, pp. 64-77, 2006.
[DOI] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{HuangWebb05b,
Title = {Efficiently Identifying Exploratory Rules' Significance},
Author = {S. Huang and G.I. Webb},
Booktitle = {LNAI State-of-the-Art Survey series, 'Data Mining: Theory, Methodology, Techniques, and Applications'},
Year = {2006},
Address = {Berlin/Heidelberg},
Note = {An earlier version of this paper was published in S.J. Simoff and G.J. Williams (Eds.), Proceedings of the Third Australasian Data Mining Conference (AusDM04) Cairns, Australia. Sydney: University of Technology, pages 169-182.},
Pages = {64-77},
Publisher = {Springer},
Abstract = {How to efficiently discard potentially uninteresting rules in exploratory rule discovery is one of the important research foci in data mining. Many researchers have presented algorithms to automatically remove potentially uninteresting rules utilizing background knowledge and user-specified constraints. Identifying the significance of exploratory rules using a significance test is desirable for removing rules that may appear interesting by chance, hence providing the users with a more compact set of resulting rules. However, applying statistical tests to identify significant rules requires considerable computation and data access in order to obtain the necessary statistics. The situation gets worse as the size of the database increases. In this paper, we propose two approaches for improving the efficiency of significant exploratory rule discovery. We also evaluate the experimental effect in impact rule discovery which is suitable for discovering exploratory rules in very large, dense databases.},
Doi = {10.1007/11677437_6},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery and OPUS},
Related = {statistically-sound-association-discovery}
}
ABSTRACT How to efficiently discard potentially uninteresting rules in exploratory rule discovery is one of the important research foci in data mining. Many researchers have presented algorithms to automatically remove potentially uninteresting rules utilizing background knowledge and user-specified constraints. Identifying the significance of exploratory rules using a significance test is desirable for removing rules that may appear interesting by chance, hence providing the users with a more compact set of resulting rules. However, applying statistical tests to identify significant rules requires considerable computation and data access in order to obtain the necessary statistics. The situation gets worse as the size of the database increases. In this paper, we propose two approaches for improving the efficiency of significant exploratory rule discovery. We also evaluate the experimental effect in impact rule discovery which is suitable for discovering exploratory rules in very large, dense databases.

Discovering Significant Rules.
Webb, G. I.
Proceedings of the Twelfth ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD-2006), New York, pp. 434-443, 2006.
[PDF] [URL] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{Webb06a,
Title = {Discovering Significant Rules},
Author = {G.I. Webb},
Booktitle = {Proceedings of the Twelfth {ACM} {SIGKDD} International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD-2006)},
Year = {2006},
Address = {New York},
Editor = {L. Ungar and M. Craven and D. Gunopulos and T. Eliassi-Rad},
Pages = {434 - 443},
Publisher = {The Association for Computing Machinery},
Abstract = {In many applications, association rules will only be interesting if they represent non-trivial correlations between all constituent items. Numerous techniques have been developed that seek to avoid false discoveries. However, while all provide useful solutions to aspects of this problem, none provides a generic solution that is both flexible enough to accommodate varying definitions of true and false discoveries and powerful enough to provide strict control over the risk of false discoveries. This paper presents generic techniques that allow definitions of true and false discoveries to be specified in terms of arbitrary statistical hypothesis tests and which provide strict control over the experimentwise risk of false discoveries.},
Keywords = {OPUS and Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery},
Location = {Philadelphia, PA},
Related = {statistically-sound-association-discovery},
Url = {http://dl.acm.org/authorize?N00546}
}
ABSTRACT In many applications, association rules will only be interesting if they represent non-trivial correlations between all constituent items. Numerous techniques have been developed that seek to avoid false discoveries. However, while all provide useful solutions to aspects of this problem, none provides a generic solution that is both flexible enough to accommodate varying definitions of true and false discoveries and powerful enough to provide strict control over the risk of false discoveries. This paper presents generic techniques that allow definitions of true and false discoveries to be specified in terms of arbitrary statistical hypothesis tests and which provide strict control over the experimentwise risk of false discoveries.

Mining Group Differences.
Butler, S., & Webb, G. I.
In Wang, J. (Ed.), In The Encyclopedia of Data Warehousing and Mining (, pp. 795-799). Hershey, PA: Idea Group Inc., 2006.
[DOI] [Bibtex]

@InCollection{ButlerWebb05,
Title = {Mining Group Differences},
Author = {S. Butler and G. I. Webb},
Booktitle = {The Encyclopedia of Data Warehousing and Mining},
Publisher = {Idea Group Inc.},
Year = {2006},
Address = {Hershey, PA},
Editor = {John Wang },
Pages = {795-799},
Audit-trail = {August 04 Copyright signed. Shane handling submission. PDF not posted},
Doi = {10.4018/978-1-60566-010-3.ch199},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery}
}
ABSTRACT 

k-Optimal-Rule-Discovery.
Webb, G. I., & Zhang, S.
Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 10(1), 39-79, 2005.
[PDF] [DOI] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@Article{WebbZhang05,
Title = {k-Optimal-Rule-Discovery},
Author = {G. I. Webb and S. Zhang},
Journal = {Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery},
Year = {2005},
Number = {1},
Pages = {39-79},
Volume = {10},
Abstract = {K-most-interesting rule discovery finds the k rules that optimize a user-specified measure of interestingness with respect to a set of sample data and user-specified constraints. This approach avoids many limitations of the frequent itemset approach of association rule discovery. This paper presents a scalable algorithm applicable to a wide range of k-most-interesting rule discovery tasks and demonstrates its efficiency.},
Address = {Netherlands},
Doi = {10.1007/s10618-005-0255-4},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery and OPUS},
Publisher = {Springer},
Related = {filtered-top-k-association-discovery}
}
ABSTRACT K-most-interesting rule discovery finds the k rules that optimize a user-specified measure of interestingness with respect to a set of sample data and user-specified constraints. This approach avoids many limitations of the frequent itemset approach of association rule discovery. This paper presents a scalable algorithm applicable to a wide range of k-most-interesting rule discovery tasks and demonstrates its efficiency.

K-Optimal Pattern Discovery: An Efficient and Effective Approach to Exploratory Data Mining.
Webb, G. I.
Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3809: Advances in Artificial Intelligence, Proceedings of the 18th Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI 2005)[Extended Abstract], Berlin/Heidelberg, pp. 1-2, 2005.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

@InProceedings{Webb05a,
Title = {K-Optimal Pattern Discovery: An Efficient and Effective Approach to Exploratory Data Mining},
Author = {G.I. Webb},
Booktitle = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3809: Advances in Artificial Intelligence, Proceedings of the 18th Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI 2005)[Extended Abstract]},
Year = {2005},
Address = {Berlin/Heidelberg},
Editor = {S. Zhang and R. Jarvis},
Pages = {1-2},
Publisher = {Springer},
Audit-trail = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/11589990_1},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery},
Location = {Sydney, Australia}
}
ABSTRACT 

Preliminary Investigations into Statistically Valid Exploratory Rule Discovery.
Webb, G. I.
Proceedings of the Second Australasian Data Mining Conference (AusDM03), Sydney, pp. 1-9, 2003.
[PDF] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{Webb03a,
Title = {Preliminary Investigations into Statistically Valid Exploratory Rule Discovery},
Author = {G.I. Webb},
Booktitle = {Proceedings of the Second Australasian Data Mining Conference (AusDM03)},
Year = {2003},
Address = {Sydney},
Editor = {S.J. Simoff and G.J. Williams and M. Hegland},
Pages = {1-9},
Publisher = {University of Technology},
Abstract = {Exploratory rule discovery, as exemplified by association rule discovery, has proven very popular. In this paper I investigate issues surrounding the statistical validity of rules found using this approach and methods that might be employed to deliver statistically sound exploratory rule discovery.},
Audit-trail = {Submitted to AusDM03. No copyright required. Check key words},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery and statistically sound discovery and OPUS},
Location = {Canberra, Australia},
Related = {statistically-sound-association-discovery}
}
ABSTRACT Exploratory rule discovery, as exemplified by association rule discovery, has proven very popular. In this paper I investigate issues surrounding the statistical validity of rules found using this approach and methods that might be employed to deliver statistically sound exploratory rule discovery.

Identifying Approximate Item-Sets Of Interest In Large Databases.
Zhang, C., Zhang, S., & Webb, G. I.
Applied Intelligence, 18, 91-104, 2003.
[URL] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@Article{ZhangZhangWebb03,
Title = {Identifying Approximate Item-Sets Of Interest In Large Databases},
Author = {C. Zhang and S. Zhang and G. I. Webb},
Journal = {Applied Intelligence},
Year = {2003},
Pages = {91-104},
Volume = {18},
Abstract = {This paper presents a method for discovering approximate frequent itemsets of interest in large scale databases. This method uses the central limit theorem to increase efficiency, enabling us to reduce the sample size by about half compared to previous approximations. Further efficiency is gained by pruning from the search space uninteresting frequent itemsets. In addition to improving efficiency, this measure also reduces the number of itemsets that the user need consider. The model and algorithm have been implemented and evaluated using both synthetic and real-world databases. Our experimental results demonstrate the efficiency of the approach},
Address = {Netherlands},
Audit-trail = {Link to paper via Kluwer site. No PDF posted},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery},
Publisher = {Springer},
Url = {http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1023%2FA%3A1020995206763.pdf}
}
ABSTRACT This paper presents a method for discovering approximate frequent itemsets of interest in large scale databases. This method uses the central limit theorem to increase efficiency, enabling us to reduce the sample size by about half compared to previous approximations. Further efficiency is gained by pruning from the search space uninteresting frequent itemsets. In addition to improving efficiency, this measure also reduces the number of itemsets that the user need consider. The model and algorithm have been implemented and evaluated using both synthetic and real-world databases. Our experimental results demonstrate the efficiency of the approach

On Detecting Differences Between Groups.
Webb, G. I., Butler, S., & Newlands, D.
Proceedings of The Ninth ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD-2003), New York, pp. 256-265, 2003.
[PDF] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{WebbButlerNewlands03,
Title = {On Detecting Differences Between Groups},
Author = {G. I. Webb and S. Butler and D. Newlands},
Booktitle = {Proceedings of The Ninth {ACM} {SIGKDD} International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD-2003)},
Year = {2003},
Address = {New York},
Editor = {P. Domingos and C. Faloutsos and T. Senator and H. Kargupta and L. Getoor},
Pages = {256-265},
Publisher = {The Association for Computing Machinery},
Abstract = {Understanding the differences between contrasting groups is a fundamental task in data analysis. This realization has led to the development of a new special purpose data mining technique, {\em contrast-set mining}. We undertook a study with a retail collaborator to compare contrast-set mining with existing rule-discovery techniques. To our surprise we observed that straightforward application of an existing commercial rule-discovery system, Magnum Opus, could successfully perform the contrast-set-mining task. This led to the realization that contrast-set mining is a special case of the more general rule-discovery task. We present the results of our study together with a proof of this conclusion},
Audit-trail = {PDF with ACM copyright posted in accordance with conditions of copyright},
Keywords = {OPUS and Association Rule Discovery},
Location = {Washington, DC},
Related = {filtered-top-k-association-discovery}
}
ABSTRACT Understanding the differences between contrasting groups is a fundamental task in data analysis. This realization has led to the development of a new special purpose data mining technique, {\em contrast-set mining}. We undertook a study with a retail collaborator to compare contrast-set mining with existing rule-discovery techniques. To our surprise we observed that straightforward application of an existing commercial rule-discovery system, Magnum Opus, could successfully perform the contrast-set-mining task. This led to the realization that contrast-set mining is a special case of the more general rule-discovery task. We present the results of our study together with a proof of this conclusion

Association Rules.
Webb, G. I.
In Ye, D. N. (Ed.), In The Handbook of Data Mining, Chapter 2 (pp. 25-39). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003.
[Bibtex]

@InCollection{Webb03,
Title = {Association Rules},
Author = {G. I. Webb},
Booktitle = {The Handbook of Data Mining, Chapter 2},
Publisher = {Lawrence Erlbaum Associates},
Year = {2003},
Editor = {Dr. Nong Ye},
Pages = {25 - 39 },
Audit-trail = {*},
Keywords = {Association Rule Discovery}
}
ABSTRACT 

Removing Trivial Associations in Association Rule Discovery.
Webb, G. I., & Zhang, S.
Proceedings of the First International NAISO Congress on Autonomous Intelligent Systems (ICAIS 2002), Canada/The Netherlands, 2002.
[PDF] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{WebbZhang02,
Title = {Removing Trivial Associations in Association Rule Discovery},
Author = {G. I. Webb and S. Zhang},
Booktitle = {Proceedings of the First International NAISO Congress on Autonomous Intelligent Systems (ICAIS 2002)},
Year = {2002},
Address = {Canada/The Netherlands},
Publisher = {NAISO Academic Press},
Abstract = {Association rule discovery has become one of the most widely applied data mining strategies. Techniques for association rule discovery have been dominated by the frequent itemset strategy as exemplified by the Apriori algorithm. One limitation of this approach is that it provides little opportunity to detect and remove association rules on the basis of relationships between rules. As a result, the association rules discovered are frequently swamped with large numbers of spurious rules that are of little interest to the user. This paper presents association rule discovery techniques that can detect and discard one form of spurious association rule: trivial associations.},
Audit-trail = {Pre-publication PDF posted},
Keywords = {OPUS and Association Rule Discovery},
Location = {Geelong, Australia},
Related = {filtered-top-k-association-discovery}
}
ABSTRACT Association rule discovery has become one of the most widely applied data mining strategies. Techniques for association rule discovery have been dominated by the frequent itemset strategy as exemplified by the Apriori algorithm. One limitation of this approach is that it provides little opportunity to detect and remove association rules on the basis of relationships between rules. As a result, the association rules discovered are frequently swamped with large numbers of spurious rules that are of little interest to the user. This paper presents association rule discovery techniques that can detect and discard one form of spurious association rule: trivial associations.

Discovering Associations with Numeric Variables.
Webb, G. I.
Proceedings of the Seventh ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD-2001)[short paper], New York, pp. 383-388, 2001.
[PDF] [URL] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{Webb01a,
Title = {Discovering Associations with Numeric Variables},
Author = {G. I. Webb},
Booktitle = {Proceedings of the Seventh {ACM} {SIGKDD} International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD-2001)[short paper]},
Year = {2001},
Address = {New York},
Editor = {F. Provost and R. Srikant},
Pages = {383-388},
Publisher = {The Association for Computing Machinery},
Abstract = {This paper further develops Aumann and Lindell's [3] proposal for a variant of association rules for which the consequent is a numeric variable. It is argued that these rules can discover useful interactions with numeric data that cannot be discovered directly using traditional association rules with discretization. Alternative measures for identifying interesting rules are proposed. Efficient algorithms are presented that enable these rules to be discovered for dense data sets for which application of Auman and Lindell's algorithm is infeasible.},
Audit-trail = {*},
Keywords = {Impact Rules and OPUS and Association Rule Discovery},
Location = {San Francisco, CA},
Related = {impact-rules},
Url = {http://dl.acm.org/authorize?19861}
}
ABSTRACT This paper further develops Aumann and Lindell's [3] proposal for a variant of association rules for which the consequent is a numeric variable. It is argued that these rules can discover useful interactions with numeric data that cannot be discovered directly using traditional association rules with discretization. Alternative measures for identifying interesting rules are proposed. Efficient algorithms are presented that enable these rules to be discovered for dense data sets for which application of Auman and Lindell's algorithm is infeasible.

Further Pruning for Efficient Association Rule Discovery.
Webb, G. I., & Zhang, S.
Lecture Notes in Computer Science Vol. 2256: Proceedings of the 14th Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI'01), Berlin, pp. 605-618, 2001.
[PDF] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{WebbZhang01,
Title = {Further Pruning for Efficient Association Rule Discovery},
Author = {G.I. Webb and S. Zhang},
Booktitle = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science Vol. 2256: Proceedings of the 14th Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI'01)},
Year = {2001},
Address = {Berlin},
Editor = {M. Stumptner and D. Corbett and M.J. Brooks},
Pages = {605-618},
Publisher = {Springer},
Abstract = {The Apriori algorithm's frequent itemset approach has become the standard approach to discovering association rules. However, the computation requirements of the frequent itemset approach are infeasible for dense data and the approach is unable to discover infrequent associations. OPUS\_AR is an efficient algorithm for rule discovery that does not utilize frequent itemsets and hence avoids these problems. It can reduce search time by using additional constraints on the search space as well as constraints on itemset frequency. However, the effectiveness of the pruning rules used during search will determine the efficiency of its search. This paper presents and analyzes pruning rules for use with OPUS\_AR. We demonstrate that application of OPUS\_AR is feasible for a number of datasets for which application of the frequent itemset approach is infeasible and that the new pruning rules can reduce compute time by more than 40%.},
Audit-trail = {*},
Keywords = {OPUS and Association Rule Discovery},
Location = {Adelaide, Australia},
Related = {filtered-top-k-association-discovery}
}
ABSTRACT The Apriori algorithm's frequent itemset approach has become the standard approach to discovering association rules. However, the computation requirements of the frequent itemset approach are infeasible for dense data and the approach is unable to discover infrequent associations. OPUS_AR is an efficient algorithm for rule discovery that does not utilize frequent itemsets and hence avoids these problems. It can reduce search time by using additional constraints on the search space as well as constraints on itemset frequency. However, the effectiveness of the pruning rules used during search will determine the efficiency of its search. This paper presents and analyzes pruning rules for use with OPUS_AR. We demonstrate that application of OPUS_AR is feasible for a number of datasets for which application of the frequent itemset approach is infeasible and that the new pruning rules can reduce compute time by more than 40%.

Efficient Search for Association Rules.
Webb, G. I.
Proceedings of the Sixth ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD-2000), New York, pp. 99-107, 2000.
[PDF] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{Webb00b,
Title = {Efficient Search for Association Rules},
Author = {G. I. Webb},
Booktitle = {Proceedings of the Sixth {ACM} {SIGKDD} International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD-2000)},
Year = {2000},
Address = {New York},
Editor = {R. Ramakrishnan and S. Stolfo},
Pages = {99-107},
Publisher = {The Association for Computing Machinery},
Abstract = {This paper argues that for some applications direct search for association rules can be more efficient than the two stage process of the Apriori algorithm which first finds large item sets which are then used to identify associations. In particular, it is argued, Apriori can impose large computational overheads when the number of frequent itemsets is very large. This will often be the case when association rule analysis is performed on domains other than basket analysis or when it is performed for basket analysis with basket information augmented by other customer information. An algorithm is presented that is computationally efficient for association rule analysis during which the number of rules to be found can be constrained and all data can be maintained in memory.},
Audit-trail = {*},
Keywords = {Search and OPUS and Association Rule Discovery},
Location = {Boston, MA},
Related = {filtered-top-k-association-discovery}
}
ABSTRACT This paper argues that for some applications direct search for association rules can be more efficient than the two stage process of the Apriori algorithm which first finds large item sets which are then used to identify associations. In particular, it is argued, Apriori can impose large computational overheads when the number of frequent itemsets is very large. This will often be the case when association rule analysis is performed on domains other than basket analysis or when it is performed for basket analysis with basket information augmented by other customer information. An algorithm is presented that is computationally efficient for association rule analysis during which the number of rules to be found can be constrained and all data can be maintained in memory.

Inclusive Pruning: A New Class of Pruning Rule for Unordered Search and its Application to Classification Learning.
Webb, G. I.
Australian Computer Science Communications Vol. 18 (1): Proceedings of the Nineteenth Australasian Computer Science Conference (ACSC'96), Melbourne, pp. 1-10, 1996.
[PDF] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@InProceedings{Webb96e,
Title = {Inclusive Pruning: A New Class of Pruning Rule for Unordered Search and its Application to Classification Learning},
Author = {G. I. Webb},
Booktitle = {Australian Computer Science Communications Vol. 18 (1): Proceedings of the Nineteenth Australasian Computer Science Conference (ACSC'96)},
Year = {1996},
Address = {Melbourne},
Editor = {K. Ramamohanarao},
Pages = {1-10},
Publisher = {ACS},
Abstract = {This paper presents a new class of pruning rule for unordered search. Previous pruning rules for unordered search identify operators that should not be applied in order to prune nodes reached via those operators. In contrast, the new pruning rules identify operators that should be applied and prune nodes that are not reached via those operators. Specific pruning rules employing both these approaches are identified for classification learning. Experimental results demonstrate that application of the new pruning rules can reduce by more than 60% the number of states from the search space that are considered during classification learning.},
Audit-trail = {*},
Keywords = {Search and Rule Learning and OPUS and Association Rule Discovery},
Location = {Royal Melbourne Insitute of Technology, Australia},
Related = {opus-search}
}
ABSTRACT This paper presents a new class of pruning rule for unordered search. Previous pruning rules for unordered search identify operators that should not be applied in order to prune nodes reached via those operators. In contrast, the new pruning rules identify operators that should be applied and prune nodes that are not reached via those operators. Specific pruning rules employing both these approaches are identified for classification learning. Experimental results demonstrate that application of the new pruning rules can reduce by more than 60% the number of states from the search space that are considered during classification learning.

OPUS: An Efficient Admissible Algorithm For Unordered Search.
Webb, G. I.
Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 3, 431-465, 1995.
[URL] [Bibtex] [Abstract]

@Article{Webb95,
Title = {OPUS: An Efficient Admissible Algorithm For Unordered Search},
Author = {G. I. Webb},
Journal = {Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research},
Year = {1995},
Pages = {431-465},
Volume = {3},
Abstract = {OPUS is a branch and bound search algorithm that enables efficient admissible search through spaces for which the order of search operator application is not significant. The algorithm's search efficiency is demonstrated with respect to very large machine learning search spaces. The use of admissible search is of potential value to the machine learning community as it means that the exact learning biases to be employed for complex learning tasks can be precisely specified and manipulated. OPUS also has potential for application in other areas of artificial intelligence, notably, truth maintenance.},
Address = {Menlo Park, CA},
Audit-trail = {Link to paper via JAIR website},
Keywords = {Search and Rule Learning and OPUS and Association Rule Discovery},
Publisher = {AAAI Press},
Related = {opus-search},
Url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1613/jair.227}
}
ABSTRACT OPUS is a branch and bound search algorithm that enables efficient admissible search through spaces for which the order of search operator application is not significant. The algorithm's search efficiency is demonstrated with respect to very large machine learning search spaces. The use of admissible search is of potential value to the machine learning community as it means that the exact learning biases to be employed for complex learning tasks can be precisely specified and manipulated. OPUS also has potential for application in other areas of artificial intelligence, notably, truth maintenance.