Optimal stopping: A record-linkage approach

George V. Moustakides, Vassilios S. Verykios

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Record-linkage is the process of identifying whether two separate records refer to the same real-world entity when some elements of the records identifying information (attributes) agree and others disagree. Existing record-linkage decision methodologies use the outcomes from the comparisons of the whole set of attributes. Here, we propose an alternative scheme that assesses the attributes sequentially, allowing for a decision to made at any attributes comparison stage, and thus before exhausting all available attributes. The scheme we develop is optimum in that it minimizes a well-defined average cost criterion while the corresponding optimum solution can be easily mapped into a decision tree to facilitate the record-linkage decision process. Experimental results performed in real datasets indicate the superiority of our methodology compared to existing approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalJournal of Data and Information Quality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management


  • Duplicate detection
  • Optimal stopping
  • Record-linkage


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