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Searching statistically significant association rules is an important but neglected problem. Traditional association rules do not capture the idea of statistical dependence and the resulting rules can be spurious, while the most significant rules may be missing. This leads to erroneous models and predictions which often become expensive.The problem is computationally very difficult, because the significance is not a monotonic property. However, in this paper we prove several other properties, which can be used for pruning the search space. The properties are implemented in the StatApriori algorithm, which searches statistically significant, non-redundant association rules. Based on both theoretical and empirical observations, the resulting rules are very accurate compared to traditional association rules. In addition, StatApriori can work with extremely low frequencies, thus finding new interesting rules.
Date of Conference: 15-19 Dec. 2008