Mining Useful Patterns

by Dr. Jilles Vreeken


Abstract: Pattern mining is a powerful tool for exploratory data analysis, aimed at identifying interesting local structure. While highly promising, the traditional approach does typically not provide very useful results: by answering the question 'find me all potentially interesting patterns' typically far too many results are returned - and many of which will be redundant.


Instead, in this talk I will show that you should ask for the set of patterns that describes your data best. That is, to use information theory to identify the optimal set of patterns. This set has many desirable properties: it is small, captures the most important structure in your data, while being neither redundant nor overfit. Moreover, these patterns are useful. As an example, I will discuss a wide range of data mining tasks, include classification, one-class classification, anomaly detection, missing value estimation, and clustering, in which these patterns have been shown to obtain top-notch and highly interpretable results, without the need of any parameters.



Bio: Jilles Vreeken is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) in the Advanced Database Research and Modeling (ADReM) group of Prof Bart Goethals. His research interests include data mining in general, and pattern mining specifically; employing insights from information theory for identifying interesting results and how to put these to good use. He has published over 20 conference and journal papers on data mining, and won two best student research paper awards.


In 2009, he defended his PhD thesis 'Making Pattern Mining Useful' at the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands) under supervision of Prof Arno Siebes, for which he was awarded the 2010 ACM Best Dissertation Runner-Up award. Before, he obtained his M.Sc. in Computer Science with honours (Cum Laude) in 2004 from the University of Utrecht, focusing on bio-inspired robotics and artificial intelligence, and collaborating with and at the lab of prof Rolf Pfeifer at University of Zurich (Switzerland).