Mining frequent serial episodes over uncertain sequence data

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Conference Proceeding
ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 2013, pp. 215 - 226
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Data uncertainty has posed many unique challenges to nearly all types of data mining tasks, creating a need for uncertain data mining. In this paper, we focus on the particular task of mining probabilistic frequent serial episodes (P-FSEs) from uncertain sequence data, which applies to many real applications including sensor readings as well as customer purchase sequences. We first define the notion of P-FSEs, based on the frequentness probabilities of serial episodes under possible world semantics. To discover P-FSEs over an uncertain sequence, we propose: 1) an exact approach that computes the accurate frequentness probabilities of episodes; 2) an approximate approach that approximates the frequency of episodes using probability models; 3) an optimized approach that efficiently prunes a candidate episode by estimating an upper bound of its frequentness probability using approximation techniques. We conduct extensive experiments to evaluate the performance of the developed data mining algorithms. Our experimental results show that: 1) while existing research demonstrates that approximate approaches are orders of magnitudes faster than exact approaches, for P-FSE mining, the efficiency improvement of the approximate approach over the exact approach is marginal; 2) although it has been recognized that the normal distribution based approximation approach is fairly accurate when the data set is large enough, for P-FSE mining, the binomial distribution based approximation achieves higher accuracy when the the number of episode occurrences is limited; 3) the optimized approach clearly outperforms the other two approaches in terms of the runtime, and achieves very high accuracy. © 2013 ACM.
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