Learning from Identifier Attributes: Distribution-Based Aggregation for Relational Learning

Feature construction through aggregation plays an essential role in modeling relational domains with one-to-many relationships between tables. One-to-many relationships lead to bags (multisets) of related entities, from which predictive information must be captured. This paper focuses on aggregation from categorical attributes that can take many values (e.g., object identifiers). We present a novel aggregation method as part of a relational learning system ACORA, that combines the use of vector distance and meta-data about the class-conditional distributions of attribute values. We provide a theoretical foundation for this approach deriving a “relational fixed-e ect” model within a Bayesian framework, and discuss the implications of identifier aggregation on the expressive power of the induced model. One advantage of using identifier attributes is the circumvention of limitations caused either by missing/unobserved object properties or by independence assumptions. Finally, we show empirically that the novel aggregators can generalize in the presence of identifier (and other high-dimensional) attributes, and also explore the limitations of the applicability of the methods.

By: Claudia Perlich; Foster Provost

Published in: RC23859 in 2006


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