(Almost) All of Entity Resolution

08/10/2020 ∙ by Olivier Binette, et al. ∙ 0

Whether the goal is to estimate the number of people that live in a congressional district, to estimate the number of individuals that have died in an armed conflict, or to disambiguate individual authors using bibliographic data, all these applications have a common theme - integrating information from multiple sources. Before such questions can be answered, databases must be cleaned and integrated in a systematic and accurate way, commonly known as record linkage, de-duplication, or entity resolution. In this article, we review motivational applications and seminal papers that have led to the growth of this area. Specifically, we review the foundational work that began in the 1940's and 50's that have led to modern probabilistic record linkage. We review clustering approaches to entity resolution, semi- and fully supervised methods, and canonicalization, which are being used throughout industry and academia in applications such as human rights, official statistics, medicine, citation networks, among others. Finally, we discuss current research topics of practical importance.

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