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Entity Resolution with AI: DBLP and ACM publication benchmark

The DBPL / ACM publication record matching benchmark was constructed in order to have a good test-set for exploring the quality of automatic record matching algorithms.

We are going to explore matching results on this dataset using an unusual, but very simple and straightforward approach which leverages OpenAI’s LLM (Large Language Model), requires very little tuning or fiddling and which you can easily adapt to your own data problems.

The TL;DR is that we can get a precision of 99.6% for entity resolution with about half an hour of work by leveraging LLMs!


See Part1 for a description on what software to install to use this tutorial.

Ingesting the Data

To ingest the data from the csv’s that are distributed with the test set, we can write a little python helper and use the tdb-cli which can work with local or cloud TerminusDB databases.

First lets create a schema:

  { "@type" : "@context",
    "@base" : "iri:///dblp-acm/i/",
    "@schema" : "iri:///dblp-acm#"
  { "@type" : "Class",
    "@id" : "Publication",
    "@key" : { "@type" : "Lexical",
               "@fields" : ["id"] },
    "@metadata" : { "embedding" : { "query" : "query($id: ID){ Publication(id : $id) { title, authors, venue, year } }",
                                    "template" : "The title of the paper is {{title}}. The authors are: {{authors}}. The venue for publication was: {{venue}}. The year of publication was {{year}}."
    "id" : "xsd:string",
    "title" : "xsd:string",
    "authors" : "xsd:string",
    "venue" : "xsd:string",
    "year" : "xsd:gYear",
    "source" : "xsd:string"


This schema has a number of fields, all of which are required. The final field source will be used to remind us the source of the record (ACM versus DBLP2).

In addition we’ve taken the liberty of creating a query and template for the embedding of our publications. To see more about how these are constructed look at Part1.

Once we’ve constructed the schema we can create the documents for ingestion to TerminusDB (using a bit of python):

					import csv
import json

with open("all_records.json", 'w') as output:
    with open("ACM.csv", 'r') as acm:
        dictreader = csv.DictReader(acm)
        for d in dictreader:
            d['source'] = "ACM.csv"
    with open("DBLP2.csv", 'r') as dblp:
        dictreader = csv.DictReader(dblp)
        for d in dictreader:
            d['source'] = "DBLP2.csv"


We can save this as ingest.py and then type:

					python ingest.py

This generates a file called all_records.json which contains every record we intend to add in a json-lines file.

Now we fire off terminusdb, first creating our database and then ingesting our schema and data.

					tdb-cli db create admin/dblp_acm
tdb-cli doc insert -g schema -f admin/dblp_acm < dblp-acm.json
tdb-cli doc insert admin/dblp_acm < all_records.json


Indexing the database

First we need the last commit of the database:

					export COMMIT_ID=`curl -uadmin:root | jq -r '.[] | .identifier'`


We obtained this from the history log and saved it into the $COMMIT_ID environment variable.

We also need to make sure that we have put our OpenAI key in the


Now we can fire off the indexer:


We can check on the progress of this by looking at the task id that
was returned.



Eventually it will say:


Finding Candidates

We can now go through the list and look at candidates for merger. This process can also be done incrementally as new objects are added, but we’ll have to repeated it n times to start, for each element in our database.

Let’s look at the results of some of our documents. First, we can look up iri:///dblp-acm/i/Publication/174639 with terminusdb to see what
we’re talking about:

					tdb-cli doc get admin/dblp_acm --id=iri:///dblp-acm/i/Publication/174639 | jq

The response should be:

  "@id": "Publication/174639",
  "@type": "Publication",
  "authors": "Kenneth Salem, H&#233;ctor Garc&#237;a-Molina, Jeannie Shands",
  "id": "174639",
  "source": "ACM.csv",
  "title": "Altruistic locking",
  "venue": "ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS) ",
  "year": "1994"


Ok, so what do we have which might be similar? Let’s ask VectorLink:

"localhost:8080/similar?commit=$COMMIT_ID&domain=admin/dblp_acm&id=iri:///dblp-acm/i/Publication/174639" | jq


To which we get the response:

    "id": "iri:///dblp-acm/i/Publication/174639",
    "distance": 0
    "id": "iri:///dblp-acm/i/Publication/journals%2Ftods%2FSalemGS94",
    "distance": 0.009044021
    "id": "iri:///dblp-acm/i/Publication/journals%2Fvldb%2FSinghalS97",
    "distance": 0.053882957


This first result looks extremely promising, and the second looks
dubious having a distance almost 6 times as large.

What is the first result?

					tdb-cli doc get admin/dblp_acm \
--id=Publication/journals%2Ftods%2FSalemGS94 | jq


And we get:

  "@id": "Publication/journals%2Ftods%2FSalemGS94",
  "@type": "Publication",
  "authors": "Jeannie Shands, Kenneth Salem, Hector Garcia-Molina",
  "id": "journals/tods/SalemGS94",
  "source": "DBLP2.csv",
  "title": "Altruistic Locking",
  "venue": "ACM Trans. Database Syst.",
  "year": "1994"


This is looking very promising indeed! This record is quite different due to the use of html entities describing inflections in one record, and folding into standard Latin character set in the other, the use of acronyms in the venue in one, and none in the other. But perhaps most importantly, this is not cherry-picked. This was literally the first record that went in to our vector indexer (at id zero) and we have just found its match.

We now have a suggestion that a threshold might be somewhere in the
vicinity of a distance of 0.01.

Let’s just check out the next record to get an idea of how well we are doing, and then we can run over the complete datasets to create a candidates list.

					tdb-cli doc get admin/dblp_acm \
--id=iri:///dblp-acm/i/Publication/174641 | jq


And we get:

  "@id": "Publication/174641",
  "@type": "Publication",
  "authors": "Patrick Tendick, Norman Matloff",
  "id": "174641",
  "source": "ACM.csv",
  "title": "A modified random perturbation method for database security",
  "venue": "ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS) ",
  "year": "1994"


Running our similarity query:

"localhost:8080/similar?commit=$COMMIT_ID&domain=admin/dblp_acm&id=iri:///dblp-acm/i/Publication/174641&count=3" | jq


We get:

    "id": "iri:///dblp-acm/i/Publication/174641",
    "distance": 0
    "id": "iri:///dblp-acm/i/Publication/journals%2Ftods%2FTendickM94",
    "distance": 0.008429408
    "id": "iri:///dblp-acm/i/Publication/331986",
    "distance": 0.020701468


Going with our hypothesis of threshold we appear to have found a match:

					tdb-cli doc get admin/dblp_acm \
--id=iri:///dblp-acm/i/Publication/journals%2Ftods%2FTendickM94 | jq


And what does this record look like?

  "@id": "Publication/journals%2Ftods%2FTendickM94",
  "@type": "Publication",
  "authors": "Norman S. Matloff, Patrick Tendick",
  "id": "journals/tods/TendickM94",
  "source": "DBLP2.csv",
  "title": "A Modified Random Perturbation Method for Database Security",
  "venue": "ACM Trans. Database Syst.",
  "year": "1994"


Bingo! We’re about ready to run with our hypothesis – we can of course choose a tight bound to start with, maybe not 0.01 but actually 0.0091 as this is liable to get us only positives. We can think about how to relax it later.

Creating the Automated Match Set

Ok, so lets go with 0.0091 and build up all possible matches. To make this easier we’ll create a small python programme which iterates over all of the ids.

Our vector database allows us to find candidates with the following command:

"localhost:8080/duplicates?commit=$COMMIT_ID&domain=admin/dblp_acm&threshold=0.0091" | jq > duplicates.json


Luckily, since this is a benchmark, we can check these duplicates against the right answer. Let’s write a little checker and see what our precision and recall actually is.

First, lets remember the original ids, and how they relate to our TerminusDB ids so we can look them up later:

					tdb-cli doc get admin/dblp_acm -l | jq 'map([."@id", .id ])' > map.json


Now it’s just a question of checking against our correct answers. We
can run this program and it will tell us our precision and recall.

					import csv
import json

def is_acm(i):
        x = int(i)
        return True
    except Exception as e:
        return False

# Id map
id_map = {}
id_map_file = "map.json"
for [terminus_id, original_id] in json.load(open(id_map_file,'r')):
    id_map[f"iri:///dblp-acm/i/{terminus_id}"] = original_id

# Correct answers
matches = {} # Match with ACM as key
matches_file = "DBLP-ACM_match.csv"
with open(matches_file, 'r') as f:
    r = csv.reader(f)
    for (dblp,acm) in r:
        matches[acm] = dblp

duplicates_map = {}
duplicates_file = "duplicates.json"
duplicates = json.load(open(duplicates_file,'r'))
for [id1,id2] in duplicates:
    original1 = id_map[id1]
    original2 = id_map[id2]
    if is_acm(original1) and not is_acm(original2):
        duplicates_map[original1] = original2
    elif is_acm(original2) and not is_acm(original1):
        duplicates_map[original2] = original1

# Calculate precision
total = len(matches)
total_retrieved = len(duplicates_map)
relevant = 0
for acm_key in duplicates_map:
    if duplicates_map[acm_key] == matches[acm_key]:
precision = relevant / total_retrieved
print(f"relevant: {relevant}")
print(f"total retrieved: {total_retrieved}")
print(f"total relevant: {total}")
print(f"Precision: {precision}")

# Calculate precision
recall = relevant / total
print(f"Recall: {recall}")


So what then do we get for our results?

					relevant: 1795
total retrieved: 1802
total relevant: 2224
Precision: 0.9961154273029966
Recall: 0.8071043165467626


Given that we only looked at two records to get our threshold, a precision of 99.6% is really pretty amazing. We might even want to tighten our bound a little if we’re dealing with a large corpus.

Our recall is a bit lower to be sure, but that’s to be expected. These could potentially go into a candidates list which can be checked by a human. We’ll look more into that later. Hopefully this can get you started!


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