A generic Web-based entity resolution framework

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Abstract

Web data repositories usually contain references to thousands of real-world entities from multiple sources. It is not uncommon that multiple entities share the same label (polysemes) and that distinct label variations are associated with the same entity (synonyms), which frequently leads to ambiguous interpretations. Further, spelling variants, acronyms, abbreviated forms, and misspellings compound to worsen the problem. Solving this problem requires identifying which labels correspond to the same real-world entity, a process known as entity resolution. One approach to solve the entity resolution problem is to associate an authority identifier and a list of variant forms with each entity—a data structure known as an authority file. In this work, we propose a generic framework for implementing a method for generating authority files. Our method uses information from the Web to improve the quality of the authority file and, because of that, is referred to as WER—Web-based Entity Resolution. Our contribution here is threefold: (a) we discuss how to implement the WER framework, which is flexible and easy to adapt to new domains; (b) we run extended experimentation with our WER framework to show that it outperforms selected baselines; and (c) we compare the results of a specialized solution for author name resolution with those produced by the generic WER framework, and show that the WER results remain competitive.

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