Skip to Main Content
We extend the problem of association rule mining-a key data mining problem-to systems in which the database is partitioned among a very large number of computers that are dispersed over a wide area. Such computing systems include grid computing platforms, federated database systems, and peer-to-peer computing environments. The scale of these systems poses several difficulties, such as the impracticality of global communications and global synchronization, dynamic topology changes of the network, on-the-fly data updates, the need to share resources with other applications, and the frequent failure and recovery of resources. We present an algorithm by which every node in the system can reach the exact solution, as if it were given the combined database. The algorithm is entirely asynchronous, imposes very little communication overhead, transparently tolerates network topology changes and node failures, and quickly adjusts to changes in the data as they occur. Simulation of up to 10 000 nodes show that the algorithm is local: all rules, except for those whose confidence is about equal to the confidence threshold, are discovered using information gathered from a very small vicinity, whose size is independent of the size of the system.