International Journal of Artificial Intelligence Tools vol:23 issue:6
Pattern mining provides useful tools for exploratory data analysis. Numerous efficient algorithms exist that are able to discover various types of patterns in large datasets. Unfortunately, the problem of identifying patterns that are genuinely interesting to a particular user remains challenging. Current approaches generally require considerable data mining expertise or effort from the data analyst, and hence cannot be used by typical domain experts.
To address this, we introduce a generic framework for interactive learning of user-specific pattern ranking functions. The user is only asked to rank small sets of patterns, while a ranking function is inferred from this feedback by preference learning techniques. Moreover, we propose a number of active learning heuristics to minimize the effort required from the user, while ensuring that accurate rankings are obtained. We show how the learned ranking functions can be used to mine new, more interesting patterns.
We demonstrate two concrete instances of our framework for two different pattern mining tasks, frequent itemset mining and subgroup discovery. We empirically evaluate the capacity of the algorithm to learn pattern rankings by emulating users. Experiments demonstrate that the system is able to learn accurate rankings, and that the active learning heuristics help reduce the required user effort. Furthermore, using the learned ranking functions as search heuristics allows discovering patterns of higher quality than those in the initial set. This shows that machine learning techniques in general, and active preference learning in particular, are promising building blocks for interactive data mining systems.