Transforming pairwise duplicates to entity clusters for high-quality duplicate detection

Uwe Draisbach, Peter Christen, Felix Naumann

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Duplicate detection algorithms produce clusters of database records, each cluster representing a single real-world entity. As most of these algorithms use pairwise comparisons, the resulting (transitive) clusters can be inconsistent: Not all records within a cluster are sufficiently similar to be classified as duplicate. Thus, one of many subsequent clustering algorithms can further improve the result. We explain in detail, compare, and evaluate many of these algorithms and introduce three new clustering algorithms in the specific context of duplicate detection. Two of our three new algorithms use the structure of the input graph to create consistent clusters. Our third algorithm, and many other clustering algorithms, focus on the edge weights, instead. For evaluation, in contrast to related work, we experiment on true real-world datasets, and in addition examine in great detail various pair-selection strategies used in practice. While no overall winner emerges, we are able to identify best approaches for different situations. In scenarios with larger clusters, our proposed algorithm, Extended Maximum Clique Clustering (EMCC), and Markov Clustering show the best results. EMCC especially outperforms Markov Clustering regarding the precision of the results and additionally has the advantage that it can also be used in scenarios where edge weights are not available.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3
    JournalJournal of Data and Information Quality
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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