Information Extraction from Data

PhD candidate Paolo Sottovia

22 October 2019
Versione stampabile

Location: Polo Ferrari 1 - Via Sommarive 5, Povo (TN) - Room Garda
Time: 16:00 am

PhD Candidate

  • Paolo Sottovia

Abstract of Dissertation

Data analysis is the process of inspecting, cleaning, extract, and modeling data with the intention of extracting useful information in order to support users in their decisions. With the advent of Big Data, data analysis was becoming more complicated due to the volume and variety of data. This process begins with the acquisition of the data and the selection of the data that is useful for the desiderata analysis. With such amount of data, also expert users are not able to inspect the data and understand if a dataset is suitable or not for their purposes.
In this dissertation, we focus on five problems in the broad data analysis process to help users find insights from the data when they do not have enough knowledge about its data.First, we analyze the data description problem, where the user is looking for a description of the input dataset. We introduce data descriptions: a compact, readable and insightful formula of boolean predicates that represents a set of data records. Finding the best description for a dataset is computationally expensive and task-specific; we, therefore, introduce a set of metrics and heuristics for generating meaningful descriptions at an interactive performance. Secondly, we look at the problem of order dependency discovery, which discovers another kind of metadata that may help the user in the understanding of characteristics of a dataset. Our approach leverages the observation that discovering order dependencies can be guided by the discovery of a more specific form of dependencies called order compatibility dependencies.
Thirdly, textual data encodes much hidden information. To allow this data to reach its full potential, there has been an increasing interest in extracting structural information from it. In this regard, we propose a novel approach for extracting events that are based on temporal co-reference among entities. We consider an event to be a set of entities that collectively experience relationships between them in a specific period of time. We developed a distributed strategy that is able to scale with the largest on-line encyclopedia available, Wikipedia.
Then, we deal with the evolving nature of the data by focusing on the problem of finding synonymous attributes in evolving Wikipedia Infoboxes. Over time, several attributes have been used to indicate the same characteristic of an entity. This provides several issues when we are trying to analyze the content of different time periods. To solve it, we propose a clustering strategy that combines two contrasting distance metrics. We developed an approximate solution that we assess over 13 years of Wikipedia history by proving its flexibility and accuracy.
Finally, we tackle the problem of identifying movements of attributes in evolving datasets. In an evolving environment, entities not only change their characteristics, but they sometimes exchange them over time. We proposed a strategy where we are able to discover those cases, and we also test our strategy on real datasets.
We formally present the five problems that we validate both in terms of theoretical results and experimental evaluation, and we demonstrate that the proposed approaches efficiently scale with a large amount of data.

Contact: ict.school [at] unitn.it (ICT International Doctoral School) 

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