Understanding if entries in a dataset refer to the same real-world entity (i.e., entity matching – EM) is a challenging task even for human experts. Our research in this area concerns the development of:
- Explaining and making Explainable the Entity Matching process;
- Automatic techniques for performing EM;
- Unsupervised evaluation of the EM.
Explaining and making Explainable the Entity Matching process
State-of-the-art approaches based on Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) models are highly accurate but suffer from low interpretability. From the user’s perspective, these models act as oracles. This is a critical problem in many operational scenarios where traceability, scrutiny, and users’ confidence in the model are fundamental requirements as well as the model accuracy. The research in this area concerned:
- A multi-facet analysis of the components of pre-trained and fine-tuned BERT architectures applied to an EM task.
- Matteo Paganelli, Francesco Del Buono, Andrea Baraldi, Francesco Guerra: Analyzing How BERT Performs Entity Matching. Proc. VLDB Endow. 15(8): 1726-1738 (2022)
- Landmark Explanation, a generic and extensible framework that extends the capabilities of a post-hoc perturbation-based explainer over the EM scenario. Landmark Explanation generates perturbations that take advantage of the particular schemas of the EM datasets, thus generating explanations more accurate and more interesting for the users than the ones generated by competing approaches.
- Andrea Baraldi, Francesco Del Buono, Matteo Paganelli, Francesco Guerra: Landmark Explanation: An Explainer for Entity Matching Models. CIKM 2021: 4680-4684
- Andrea Baraldi, Francesco Del Buono, Matteo Paganelli, Francesco Guerra: Using Landmarks for Explaining Entity Matching Models. EDBT 2021: 451-456
Automatic techniques for EM
The research studies the application of automated machine learning approaches (AutoML) for addressing the problem of Entity Matching (EM). This would make the existing, highly effective, Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning based approaches for EM usable also by non-expert users, who do not have the expertise to train and tune such complex systems. To address this issue, we introduce a new component, the EM adapter, to be pipelined with standard AutoML systems, that preprocesses the EM datasets to make them usable by automated approaches.
- Matteo Paganelli, Francesco Del Buono, Marco Pevarello, Francesco Guerra, Maurizio Vincini: Automated Machine Learning for Entity Matching Tasks. EDBT 2021: 325-330
Evaluating the EM process
Evaluation is a bottleneck in data integration processes: it is performed by domain experts through manual onerous data inspections. This task is particularly heavy in real business scenarios, where the large amount of data makes checking all integrated tuples infeasible. Our idea is to address this issue by providing the experts with unsupervised measures. The research is done with the University of Padua.
- Matteo Paganelli, Francesco Del Buono, Francesco Guerra, Nicola Ferro: Evaluating the integration of datasets. SAC 2022: 347-356