Yakout Receives Ballou-Pazer IQ Dissertation Award
Recent Computer Science Ph.D. graduate Mohamed Yakout has received the Donald Ballou & Harold Pazer IQ Dissertation Award.
The Ballou-Pazer IQ Dissertation Award recognizes the dissertation that demonstrates the most significant contribution to the information quality field. It is awarded for a dissertation on data and/or information quality that has been completed within the two calendar years prior to the International Conference on Information Quality. The award's committee was chaired by Rolf T. Wigand, the Maulden-Entergy Chair and Distinguished Professor of Information Science and Management at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Yakout will receive a framed certificate, a $1,000 prize and, according to the award's website, "the respect of the entire information quality community."
The winning dissertation is titled "Guided Data Cleaning" and Yakout summarizes his work in its abstract: "Until recently, all data cleaning techniques have focused on providing fully automated solutions, which are risky to rely on. We believe that a complete and effective solution to improve the data quality is likely to depend on a close collaboration between humans in the form of data users (or domain experts) and machines in the form of the automated solutions to clean dirty databases, in addition to leveraging other information resources such as the enormous amount of data on the Web. In this dissertation, we have investigated a number of cleaning techniques that are open for users and external resources collaborations. We proposed techniques to converge faster to better data quality with minimal user interaction. We also studied techniques to involve users indirectly for a data cleaning task. Particularly, we were able to interpret and use the users’ registered interactions, which can be found in transactions log, for the purpose of doing deduplication (identifying duplicate records). Finally, we introduced an application for using the WWW (specifically the web tables) as an additional data resource to help finding missing values and augmenting entities attributes in the database."
Yakout's award was acknowledged at the 17th International Conference on Information Quality in Paris, France, which took place November 16 through 17, 2012. Though Yakout was unable to attend, his dissertation advisor, Professor Ahmed Elmagarmid, accepted the award on his behalf.
Congratulations to Dr. Yakout on this recognition!