Truth discovery and copying detection in a dynamic world

Xin Luna Dong, Laure Berti-Equille, Divesh Srivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

163 Citations (Scopus)


Modern information management applications often require integrating data from a variety of data sources, some of which may copy or buy data from other sources. When these data sources model a dynamically changing world (e.g., people's contact information changes over time, restaurants open and go out of business), sources often provide out-of-date data. Errors can also creep into data when sources are updated often. Given out-of-date and erroneous data provided by different, possibly dependent, sources, it is challenging for data integration systems to provide the true values. Straightforward ways to resolve such inconsistencies (e.g., voting) may lead to noisy results, often with detrimental consequences. In this paper, we study the problem of finding true values and determining the copying relationship between sources, when the update history of the sources is known. We model the quality of sources over time by their coverage, exactness and freshness. Based on these measures, we conduct a probabilistic analysis. First, we develop a Hidden Markov Model that decides whether a source is a copier of another source and identifies the specific moments at which it copies. Second, we develop a Bayesian model that aggregates information from the sources to decide the true value for a data item, and the evolution of the true values over time. Experimental results on both real-world and synthetic data show high accuracy and scalability of our techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-573
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the VLDB Endowment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science(all)

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