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June 2020 A Unified Framework for De-Duplication and Population Size Estimation (with Discussion)
Andrea Tancredi, Rebecca Steorts, Brunero Liseo
Bayesian Anal. 15(2): 633-682 (June 2020). DOI: 10.1214/19-BA1146


Data de-duplication is the process of detecting records in one or more datasets which refer to the same entity. In this paper we tackle the de-duplication process via a latent entity model, where the observed data are perturbed versions of a set of key variables drawn from a finite population of N different entities. The main novelty of our approach is to consider the population size N as an unknown model parameter. As a result, a salient feature of the proposed method is the capability of the model to account for the de-duplication uncertainty in the population size estimation. As by-products of our approach we illustrate the relationships between de-duplication problems and capture-recapture models and we obtain a more adequate prior distribution on the linkage structure. Moreover we propose a novel simulation algorithm for the posterior distribution of the matching configuration based on the marginalization of the key variables at population level. We apply our method to two synthetic data sets comprising German names. In addition we illustrate a real data application, where we match records from two lists which report information about people killed in the recent Syrian conflict.


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Andrea Tancredi. Rebecca Steorts. Brunero Liseo. "A Unified Framework for De-Duplication and Population Size Estimation (with Discussion)." Bayesian Anal. 15 (2) 633 - 682, June 2020.


Published: June 2020
First available in Project Euclid: 7 March 2019

MathSciNet: MR4122517
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/19-BA1146


Vol.15 • No. 2 • June 2020
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