Discovering Generalized Episodes Using Minimal Occurrences

Heikki Mannila, Hannu Toivonen

Sequences of events are an important special form of data that arises in several contexts, including telecommunications, user interface studies, and epidemiology. We present a general and flexible framework of specifying classes of generalized episodes. These are recurrent combinations of events satisfying certain conditions. The framework can be instantiated to a wide variety of applications by selecting suitable primitive conditions. We present algorithms for discovering frequently occurring episodes and episode rules. The algorithms are based on the use of minimal occurrences of episodes; this makes it possible to evaluate confidences of a wide variety of rules using only a single analysis pass. We present empirical results on the behavior of the algorithms on events stemming from a WWW log.

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