Third-Generation Data Mining:

hideousbotanistData Management

Nov 20, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)


European Conference on Machine Learning and
Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases
Third-Generation Data Mining:
Towards Service-Oriented Knowledge Discovery
September 24,2010
Melanie Hilario
University of Geneva,Switzerland
Nada Lavrač
Vid Podpečan
Jožef Stefan Institute,Ljubljana,Slovenia
Joost N.Kok
LIACS,Leiden University,The Netherlands
- ii -
It might seem paradoxical that third-generation data mining (DM) remains an
open research issue more than a decade after it was first defined
.First gen-
eration data mining systems were individual research-driven tools for perform-
ing generic learning tasks such as classification or clustering.They were aimed
mainly at data analysis experts whose technical know-how allowed them to do
extensive data preprocessing and tool parameter-tuning.Second-generation DM
systems gained in both diversity and scope:they not only offered a variety of
tools for the learning task but also provided support for the full knowledge dis-
covery process,in particular for data cleaning and data transformation prior
to learning.These so-called DM suites remained,however,oriented towards the
DMprofessional rather than the end user.The idea of third-generation DMsys-
tems,as defined in 1997,was to empower the end user by focusing on solutions
rather than tool suites;domain-specific shells were wrapped around a core of
DM tools,and graphical interfaces were designed to hide the intrinsic complex-
ity of the underlying DMmethods.Vertical DMsystems have been developed for
applications in data-intensive fields such as bioinformatics,banking and finance,
e-commerce,telecommunications,or customer relationship management.
However,driven by the unprecedented growth in the amount and diversity of
available data,advances in data mining and related fields gradually led to a
revised and more ambitious vision of third-generation DM systems.Knowledge
discovery in databases,as it was understood in the 1990s,turned out to be just
one subarea of a much broader field that now includes mining unstructured data
in text and image collections,as well as semi-structured data from the rapidly
expanding Web.With the increased heterogeneity of data types and formats,the
limitations of attribute-value vectors and their associated propositional learning
techniques were acknowledged,then overcome through the development of com-
plex object representations and relational mining techniques.
Outside the data mining community,other areas of computer science rose up
to the challenges of the data explosion.To scale up to tera-order data volumes,
high-performance computers proved to be individually inadequate and had to
be networked into grids in order to divide and conquer computationally inten-
sive tasks.More recently,cloud computing allows for the distribution of data
and computing load to a large number of distant computers,while doing away
with the centralized hardware infrastructure of grid computing.The need to har-
ness multiple computers for a given task gave rise to novel software paradigms,
foremost of which is service-oriented computing.
G.Piatetsky-Shapiro.Data mining and knowledge discovery:The third generation.
In Foundations of Intelligent Systems:10th International Symposium,1997.
- iii -
As it name suggests,service-oriented computing utilizes services as the basic con-
structs to enable composition of applications from software and other resources
distributed across heterogeneous computing environments and communication
networks.The service-oriented paradigm has induced a radical shift in our defi-
nition of third-generation data mining.The 1990’s vision of a data mining tool
suite encapsulated in a domain-specific shell gives way to a service-oriented ar-
chitecture with functionality for identifying,accessing and orchestrating local
and remote data/information resources and mining tools into a task-specific
workflow.Thus the major challenge facing third-generation DM systems is the
integration of these distributed and heterogeneous resources and software into
a coherent and effective knowledge discovery process.Semantic Web research
provides the key technologies needed to ensure interoperability of these services;
for instance,the availability of widely accepted task and domain ontologies en-
sures common semantics for the annotation,search and retrieval of the relevant
data/knowledge/software resources,thus enabling the construction of shareable
and reusable knowledge discovery workflows.
SoKD’10 is the third in a series of workshops that serve as the forum for on-
going research on service-oriented knowledge discovery.The papers selected for
this edition can be grouped under 3 main topics.Three papers propose novel
techniques for the construction,analysis and re-use of data mining workflows.
A second group of two papers addresses the problem of building ontologies for
knowledge discovery.Finally,two papers describe applications of service-oriented
knowledge discovery in plant biology and predictive toxicology.
Geneva,Ljubljana,Leiden Melanie Hilario
July 2010 Nada Lavrač
Vid Podpečan
Joost N.Kok
- iv -
Workshop Organization
Workshop Chairs
Melanie Hilario (University of Geneva)
Nada Lavrač (Jožef Stefan Institute)
Vid Podpečan (Jožef Stefan Institute)
Joost N.Kok (Leiden University)
Program Committee
Abraham Bernstein (University of Zurich,Switzerlnd)
Michael Berthold (Konstanz University,Germany)
Hendrik Blockeel (Leuven University,Belgium)
Jeroen de Bruin (Leiden University,The Netherlands)
Werner Dubitzky (University of Ulster,UK)
Alexandros Kalousis (University of Geneva,Switzerland)
Igor Mozetič (Jožef Stefan Institute,Slovenia)
Filip Železny (Czech Technical University,Czechia)
Additional Reviewers
Agnieszka Ławrynowicz (Poznan University of Technology,Poland)
Yvan Saeys (Ghent University,Belgium)
- v -
Table of Contents
Data Mining Workflows:Creation,Analysis and Re-use
Data Mining Workflow Templates for Intelligent Discovery
Assistance and Auto-Experimentation 1
Jörg-Uwe Kietz,Floarea Serban,Abraham Bernstein,Simon Fischer
Workflow Analysis Using Graph Kernels 13
Natalja Friesen,Stefan Rüping
Re-using Data Mining Workflows 25
Stefan Rüping,Dennis Wegener,Philipp Bremer
Ontologies for Knowledge Discovery
Exposé:An Ontology for Data Mining Experiments 31
Joaquin Vanschoren,Larisa Soldatova
Foundations of Frequent Concept Mining with Formal Ontologies 45
Agnieszka Ławrynowicz
Applications of Service-Oriented Knowledge Discovery
Workflow-based Information Retrieval to Model Plant Defence Response
to Pathogen Attacks 51
Dragana Miljković,Claudiu Mihăilă,Vid Podpečan,Miha Grčar,
Kristina Gruden,Tjaša Stare,Nada Lavrač
OpenTox:A Distributed REST Approach to Predictive Toxicology 61
Tobias Girschick,Fabian Buchwald,Barry Hardy,Stefan Kramer
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Data Mining Work ow Templates for Intelligent
Discovery Assistance and Auto-Experimentation
Jorg-Uwe Kietz
,Floarea Serban
,Abraham Bernstein
,and Simon Fischer
University of Zurich,Department of Informatics,
Dynamic and Distributed Information Systems Group,
Binzmuhlestrasse 14,CH-8050 Zurich,Switzerland
Rapid-I GmbH,Stockumer Str.475,44227 Dortmund,Germany
Abstract.Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) has grown a lot
during the last years.But providing user support for constructing work-
ows is still problematic.The large number of operators available in
current KDD systems makes it dicult for a user to successfully solve
her task.Also,work ows can easily reach a huge number of operators
(hundreds) and parts of the work ows are applied several times.There-
fore,it becomes hard for the user to construct them manually.In addi-
tion,work ows are not checked for correctness before execution.Hence,
it frequently happens that the execution of the work ow stops with an
error after several hours runtime.
In this paper
we present a solution to these problems.We introduce
a knowledge-based representation of Data Mining (DM) work ows as a
basis for cooperative-interactive planning.Moreover,we discuss work-
owtemplates,i.e.abstract work ows that can mix executable operators
and tasks to be rened later into sub-work ows.This new representation
helps users to structure and handle work ows,as it constrains the num-
ber of operators that need to be considered.Finally,work ows can be
grouped in templates which foster re-use further simplifying DM work-
ow construction.
1 Introduction
One of the challenges of Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) is assisting
the users in creating and executing DM work ows.Existing KDD systems such
as the commercial Clementine
and Enterprise Miner
or the open-source
This paper reports on work in progress.Refer to to
see the current state of the Data Mining ontology for WorkFlow planning (DMWF),
the IDA-API,and the eProPlan Protege plug-ins we built to model the DMWF.
The RapidMiner IDA-wizard will be part of a future release of RapidMiner check it.
and RapidMiner
support the user with nice
graphical user interfaces,where operators can be dropped as nodes onto the
working pane and the data- ow is specied by connecting the operator-nodes.
This works very well as long as neither the work ow becomes too complicated
nor the number of operators becomes too large.
The number of operators in such systems,however,has been growing fast.
All of them contain over 100 operators and RapidMiner,which includes Weka,
even over 600.It can be expected that with the incorporation of text-,image-
,and multimedia-mining as well as the transition from closed systems with
a xed set of operators to open systems,which can also use Web services as
operators (which is especially interesting for domain specic data access and
transformations),will further accelerate the rate of growth resulting in total
confusion for most users.
Not only the number of operators,but also the size of the work ows is
growing.Today's work ows can easily contain hundreds of operators.Parts of
the work ows are applied several times ( e.g.the preprocessing sub-work ow
has to be applied on training,testing,and application data) implying that the
users either need to copy/paste or even to design a new sub-work ow
times.None of the systems maintain this\copy"-relationship,it is left to the
user to maintain the relationship in the light of changes.
Another weak point is that work ows are not checked for correctness before
execution:it frequently happens that the execution of the work ow stops with
an error after several hours runtime because of small syntactic incompatibilities
between an operator and the data it should be applied on.
To address these problems several authors [1,12,4,13] propose the use of
planning techniques to automatically build such work ows.However all these
approaches are limited in several ways.First,they only model a very small set
of operations and they work on very short work ows (less than 10 operators).
Second,none of them models operations that work on individual columns of
a data set,they only model operations that process all columns of a data set
equally together.Lastly,the approaches cannot scale to large amounts of oper-
ators and large work ows:their used planning approaches will necessarily get
lost in the too large space of\correct"(but nevertheless most often unwanted)
solutions.In [6] we reused the idea of hierarchical task decomposition (from the
manual support system CITRUS [11]) and knowledge available in Data Min-
Several operators must be exchanged and cannot be just reapplied.Consider for
example training data (with labels) and application data (without labels).Label-
directed operations like feature selection or discretization by entropy used on the
training data cannot work on the application data.But even if there is a label
like on separate test data,redoing feature selection/discretization may result in
selecting/building dierent features/bins.But to apply and test the model exactly
the same features/bins have to be selected/build.
- 2 -
ing (e.g.CRISP-DM) for hierarchical task network (HTN) planning [9].This
signicantly reduces the number of generated unwanted correct work ows.Un-
fortunately,since it covers only generic DM knowledge,it still does not capture
the most important knowledge a DMengineer uses to judge work ows and mod-
els useful:understanding the meaning of the data
Formalizing the meaning of the data requires a large amount of domain
knowledge.Eliciting all the possible needed background information about the
data from the user would probably be more demanding for her than designing
useful work ows manually.Therefore,the completely automatic planning of use-
ful work ows is not feasible.The approach of enumerating all correct work ows
and then let the user choose the useful one(s) will likely fail due to the large
number of correct work ows (innite,without a limit on the number of opera-
tions in the work ow).Only cooperative-interactive planning of work ows seems
to be feasible.In this scenario the planner ensures the correctness of the state of
planning and can propose a small number of possible intermediate renements
of the current plan to the user.The user can use her knowledge about the data
to choose useful renements,can make manual additions/corrections,and use
the planner again for tasks that can be routinely solved without knowledge
about the data.Furthermore,the planner can be used to generate all correct
sub-work ows to optimize the work ow by experimentation.
In this paper we present a knowledge-based representation of DMwork ows,
understandable to both planner and user,as the foundation for cooperative-
interactive planning.To be able to represent the intermediate states of planning,
we generalize this to\work ow templates",i.e.abstract work ows that can
mix executable operators and tasks to be rened later into sub-work ows (or
sub-work ow-templates).Our work ows follow the structure of a Data Mining
Ontology for Work ows (DMWF).It has a hierarchical structure consisting
of a task/method decomposition into tasks,methods or operators.Therefore,
work ows can be grouped based on the structure decomposition and can be
simplied by using abstract nodes.This new representation helps the users since
akin to structured programming the elements (operators,tasks,and methods) of
a work ow actively under consideration are reduced signicantly.Furthermore,
this approach allows to group certain sequences of operators as templates to
be reused later.All this simplies and improves the design of a DM work ow,
reducing the time needed to construct work ows,and decreases the work ow's
This paper is organized as follows:Section 2 describes work ows and their
representation as well as work ow template,Section 3 shows the advantages of
work ow templates,Section 4 presents the current state and future steps and
nally Section 5 concludes our paper.
Consider a binary attribute\address invalid":just by looking at the data it is almost
impossible to infer that it does not make sense to send advertisement to people
with this ag set at the moment.In fact,they may have responded to previous
advertisements very well.
- 3 -
2 DM Work ow
DM work ows generally represent a set of DM operators,which are executed
and applied on data or models.In most of the DM tools users are only working
with operators and setting their parameters (values).Data is implicit,hidden
in the connectors,the user provides the data and applies the operators,but
after each step new data is produced.In our approach we distinguish between
all the components of the DMwork ow:operators,data,parameters.To enable
the system and user to cooperatively design the work ows,we developed a
formalization of the DM work ows in terms of an ontology.
To be able to dene a DM work ow we rst need to describe the DMWF
ontology since work ows are stored and represented in DMWF format.This
ontology encodes rules from the KDD domain on how to solve DM tasks,as for
example the CRISP-DM[2] steps in the form of concepts and relations (Tbox {
terminology).The DMWF has several classes that contribute in describing the
DM world,IOObjects,MetaData,Operators,Goals,Tasks and Methods.The
most important ones are shown in Table 1.
Input and output used by
Characteristics of the IOObjects
DM operators
A DM goal that the user could
A task is used to achieve a goal
A method is used to solve a task
Table 1:Main classes from the DMWF ontology
{ usesData
{ usesModel
denes input for an operator
{ producesData
{ producesModel
denes output for an operator
denes other parameters for operators
data type
A task is solved by a method
{ inputData
{ outputData
The IOObject elements the Task or Method
works on
The MetaData elements the Task or Method
A Method is decomposed into a set of steps
Table 2:Main roles from the DMWF ontology
The classes from the DWMF ontology are connected through properties as
shown in Table 2.The parameters of operators as well as some basic characteris-
tics of data are values (integer,double,string,etc.) in terms of data properties,
Later on we use usesProp,producesProp,simpleParamProp, denote the
subproperties of uses,produces,simpleParameter,etc..
- 4 -
e.g.number of records for each data table,number of missing values for each
column,mean value and standard deviation for each scalar column,number of
dierent values for nominal columns,etc.Having them modeled in the ontology
enables the planner to use them for planning.
2.1 What is a work ow?
In our approach a work ow constitutes an instantiation of the DMclasses;more
precisely is a set of ontological individuals (Abox - assertions).It is mainly
composed from several basic operators,which can be executed or applied with
the given parameters.The work ow follows the structure illustrated in Fig.1.A
work ow consists of several operator applications,instances of operators as well
as their inputs and outputs { instances of IOObject,simple parameters (values
which can have dierent data types like integer,string,etc.),or parameters {
instances of MetaData.The ow itself is rather implicit,it is represented by
shared IOObjects used and produced by Operators.The reasoner can ensure
that every IOObject has only 1 producer and that every IOObject is either
given as input to the work ow or produced before it can be used.
f1,1g) IOObject,...,usesProp
f1,1g) IOObject,...,producesProp
f1,1g) MetaData,...,parameterProp
f1,1g) MetaData,
f1,1g) dataType,...,simpleParamProp
f1,1g) dataType].
Fig.1:Tbox for operator applications and work ows
Fig.2 illustrates an example of a real work ow.It is not a linear sequence
since models are shared between subprocesses,so the work ow produced is a
DAG (Direct Acyclic Graph).The work ow consists of two subprocesses:the
training and the testing which share the models.We have a set of basic op-
erator individuals (FillMissingValues
,etc.) which use in-
dividuals of IOObject (TrainingData,TestData,DataTable
,etc.) as input
and produce individuals of IOObject (PreprocessingModel
,etc.) as
output.The example does not display the parameters and simple parameters of
operators but each operator could have several such parameters.
2.2 Work ow templates
Very often the DM work ows have a large number of operators (hundreds),
even more some sequences of operators may repeat and be executed several
times in the same work ow.This becomes a real problem since the users need
to construct and maintain the work ows manually.To overcome this problem
we introduce the notion of work ow templates.
When the planner generates a work ow it follows a set of task/method de-
composition rules encoded in the DMWF ontology.Every task has a set of
methods able to solve it.The task solved by a method is called the head of
the method.Each method is decomposed into a sequence of steps which can be
- 5 -
Fig.2:A basic work ow example
either tasks or operators as shown in the specication in Fig.3.The matching
between the current and the next step is done based on operators'conditions
and eects as well as methods'conditions and contributions as described in
[6].Such a set of task/method decompositions works similarly to a context-free
grammar:tasks are the non-terminal symbols of the grammar,operators are
the terminal-symbols (or alphabet) and methods for a task are the grammar-
rule that specify how a non-terminal can be replaced by a sequence of (simpler)
tasks and operators.In this analogy the work ows are words of the language
specied by the task/method decomposition grammar.To be able to generate
not only operator sequences,but also operator DAGs
,it additionally contains
a specication for passing parameter constraints between methods,tasks and
.In the decomposition process the properties of the method's head
(the task) or one of the steps can be bound to the same variable as the properties
of other steps.
) IOObject,...,worksOnProp
) IOObject,
) MetaData,...,worksWithProp
) MetaData]
Task[solvedBy ) Method].
) fOperatorjTaskg].
g.prop = Method.fheadjstep
prop:= workOnProp j workWithProp jusesPropj producesProp
j parameterProp j simpleParamProp
Fig.3:TBox for task/method decomposition and parameter passing constraints
A work ow template represents the upper (abstract) nodes from the gener-
ated decomposition,which in fact are either tasks,methods or abstract opera-
tors.If we look at the example in Fig.2 none of the nodes are basic operators.
Indeed,they are all tasks as place-holders for several possible basic operators.
The planning process is still sequential,but the resulting structure may have a
non-linear ow of objects.
Giving it the expressive power of a rst-order logic Horn-clause grammar.
- 6 -
For example,DiscretizeAll has dierent discretization methods as described
in Section 3,therefore DiscretizeAll represents a task which can be solved
by the DiscretizeAllAtOnce method.The method can have several steps,e.g,
the rst step is an abstract operator RM
DiscretizeAll,which subsequently
has several basic operators like RM
Discretize All by Size,RM
All by Frequency.
The work ows are produced by an HTN planner [9] based on the DMWF on-
tology as background knowledge (domain) and on the goal and data description
(problem).In fact,a work ow is equivalent to a generated plan.
The planner generates only valid work ows since it checks the preconditions
of every operator present in the work ow,also operator's eects are the pre-
conditions of the next operator in the work ow.In most of the existing DM
tools the user can design a work ow,start executing it,and after some time dis-
cover that in fact some operator was applied on data with missing values or on
nominals whilst,in fact,it can handle only missing value free data and scalars.
Our approach can avoid such annoying and time consuming problems by us-
ing conditions and eects of operators.An operator is applicable only when its
preconditions are satised,therefore the generated work ows are semantically
3 Work ow Templates for auto-experimentation
To illustrate the usefulness of our approach,consider the following common
scenario.Given a data table containing numerical data,a modelling algorithm
should be applied that is not capable of processing numerical values,e.g.,a
simple decision tree induction algorithm.In order to still utilize this algorithm,
attributes must rst be discretized.To discretize a numerical attribute,its range
of possible numerical values is partitioned,and each numerical value is replaced
by the generated name of the partition it falls into.The data miner has multiple
options to compute this partition,e.g.,RapidMiner [8] contains ve dierent
algorithms to discretize data:
{ Discretize by Binning.The numerical values are divided into k ranges of equal
size.The resulting bins can be arbitrarily unbalanced.
{ Discretize by Frequency.The numerical values are inserted into k bins divided
at thresholds computed such that an equal number of examples is assigned
to each bin.The ranges of the resulting bins may be arbitrarily unbalanced.
{ Discretize by Entropy.Bin boundaries are chosen as to minimize the entropy
in the induced partitions.The entropy is computed with respect to the label
{ Discretize by Size.Here,the user species the number of examples that should
be assigned to each bin.Consequently,the number of bins will vary.
{ Discretize by User Specication.Here,the user can manually specify the
boundaries of the partition.This is typically only useful if meaningful bound-
aries are implied by the application domain.
- 7 -
Each of these operators has its advantages and disadvantages.However,there
is no universal rule of thumb as to which of the options should be used depending
on the characteristics or domain of the data.Still,some of the options can be
excluded in some cases.For example,the entropy can only be computed if a
nominal label exists.There are also soft rules,e.g.,it is not advisable to choose
any discretization algorithm with xed partition boundaries if the attribute
values are skewed.Then,one might end up with bins that contain only very few
Though no such rule of thumb exists,it is also evident that the choice of
discretization operator can have a huge impact on the result of the data mining
process.To support this statement,we have performed experiments on some
standard data sets.We have executed all combinations of the ve discretization
operators Discretize by Binning with two and four bins,Discretize by Frequency
with two and four bins,and Discretize by Entropy on the 4 numerical attributes
of the well-known UCI data set Iris.Following the discretization,a decision tree
was generated and evaluated using a ten-fold cross validation
.We can observe
that the resulting accuracy varies signicantly,between 64:0% and 94:7% (see
Table 3).Notably,the best performance is not achieved by selecting a single
method for all attributes,but by choosing a particular combination.This shows
that nding the right combination can actually be worth the eort.
#numerical attr.
#total attr.
Table 3:The table shows that optimizing the discretization method can be a
huge gain for some tables,whereas it is negligible for others.
Consider the number of dierent combinations possible for k discretization
operators and m numeric attributes.This makes up for a total of k
tions.If we want to try i dierent values for the number of bins,we even have
dierent combinations.In the case of our above example,this makes for a
total of 1 296 combinations.Although knowing that the choice of discretization
operator can make a huge dierence,most data miners will not be willing to
perform such a huge amount of experiments.
In principle,it is possible to execute all combinations in an automated fash-
ion using standard RapidMiner operators.However,such a process must be
custom-made for the data set at hand.Furthermore,discretization is only one
out of numerous typical preprocessing steps.If we take into consideration other
steps like the replacement of missing values,normalization,etc.,the complexity
of such a task grows beyond any reasonable border.
This is where work ow templates come into play.In a work ow template,
it is merely specied that at some point in the work ow all attributes must be
discretized,missing values be replaced or imputed,or a similar goal be achieved.
The planner can then create a collection of plans satisfying these constraints.
The process used to generate these results is available on the myExperiment plat-
form [3]: ows/1344
- 8 -
Clearly,simply enumerating all plans only helps if there is enough computational
power to try all possible combinations.Where this is not possible,the number
of plans must be reduced.Several options exist:
{ Where xed rules of thumb like the two rules mentioned above exist,this is
expressed in the ontological description of the operators.Thus,the search
space can be reduced,and less promising plans can be excluded from the
resulting collection of plans.
{ The search space can be restricted by allowing only a subset of possible
combinations.For example,we can force the planner to apply the same
discretization operator to all attributes (but still allow any combination
with other preprocessing steps).
{ The ontology is enriched by resource consumption annotations describing
the projected execution time and memory consumption of the individual
operators.This can be used to rank the retrieved plans.
{ Where none of the above rules exist,meta mining from systematic experi-
mentation can help to rank plans and test their execution in a sensible order.
This work is ongoing work within the e-Lico project.
{ Optimizing the discretization step does not necessarily yield such a huge gain
as presented above for all data sets.We executed a similar optimization as
the one presented above for the numerical attributes of the Adult data set.
Here,the accuracy only varies between 82:6% and 86:3% (see Table 3).In
hindsight,the reason for this is clear:Whereas all of the attributes of the
Iris data set are numerical,only 6 out of 14 attributes of the Adult dataset
are.Hence,the expected gain for Iris is much larger.A clever planner can
spot this fact,removing possible plans where no large gain can be expected.
Findings like these can also be supported by meta mining.
All these approaches help the data miner to optimize steps where this is
promising and generating and executing the necessary processes to be evaluated.
4 Current state
The current state and some of the future development plans of our project are
shown in Fig.4.The system consists of a modeling environment called ePro-
Plan (e
-Lico P
rotege-based P
lanner) in which the ontology that denes the
behavior of the Intelligent Discovery Assistant (IDA) is modeled.eProPlan com-
prises several Protege4-plugins [7],that add the modeling of the operators with
their conditions and eects and the task-method decomposition to the base-
ontology modeling.It allows to analyze work ow inputs and to set up the goals
to be reached in the work ow.It also adds a reasoner-interface to our rea-
soner/planner,such that the applicability of operators to IO-Objects can be
tested (i.e.the correct modeling of the condition of an operator),a single oper-
ator can be applied with applicable parameter setting (i.e.the correct modeling
of the eect of an operator can be tested),and also the planner can be asked to
- 9 -
Modeling &
Reasoning &


N Bes



N Plans f
Fig.4:(a) eProPlan architecture (b) The services of the planner
generate a whole plan for a specied task (i.e.the task-method decomposition
can be tested).
Using eProPlan we modeled the DMWF ontology which currently consists
of 64 Modeling (DM) Operators,including supervised learning,clustering,and
association rules generation of which 53 are leaves i.e.executable RapidMiner
Operators.We have also 78 executable Preprocessing Operators from Rapid-
Miner and 30 abstract Groups categorizing them.We also have 5 Reporting (e.g.
a data audit,ROC-curve),5 Model evaluation (e.g.cross-validation) and Model
application operators from RapidMiner.The domain model which describes the
IO-Objects of operators ( tables,models,reports,text collections,image
collections) consists of 43 classes.With that the DMWF is by far the largest
collection of real operators modeled for any planner-IDA in the related work.
A main innovation of our domain model over all previous planner-based IDAs
is that we did not stop with the IO-Objects,but modeled their parts as well,
i.e.we modeled the attributes and the relevant properties a data table consists
of.With this model we are able to capture the conditions and eects of all
these operators not only on the table-level but also on the column-level.This
important improvement was illustrated on the example of discretization in the
last section.On the Task/Method decomposition side we modeled a CRISP-DM
top-level HTN.Its behavior can be modied by currently 15 (sub-) Goals that
are used as further hints for the HTN planner.We also have several bottom-level
tasks as the DiscretizeAll described in the last section,e.g.for Missing Value
imputation and Normalization.
To access our planner IDA in data mining environment we are currently
developing an IDA-API (Intelligent Data Assistant - Application Programming
Interface).The rst version of the API will oer the"AI-Planner"services in
Fig.4(b),but we are also working to extend our planner with the case-based
planner services shown there and our partner is working to integrate the prob-
abilistic planner services [5].The integration of the API into RapidMiner as a
wizard is displayed in Fig.5 and it will be integrated into Taverna [10] as well.
- 10 -
Fig.5:A screenshot of the IDA planner integrated as a Wizard into RapidMiner.
5 Conclusion and future work
In this paper we introduced a knowledge-based representation of DMwork ows
as a basis for cooperative-interactive work ow planning.Based on that we pre-
sented the main contribution of this paper:the denition of work ow templates,
i.e.abstract work ows that can mix executable operators and tasks to be rened
later into sub-work ows.We argued that these work ow templates serve very
well as a common workspace for user and system to cooperatively design work-
ows.Due to their hierarchical task structure they help to make large work ows
neat.We experimentally showed on the example of discretization that they help
to optimize the performance of work ows by auto-experimentation.Future work
will try to meta-learn from these work ow-optimization experiments,such that
a probabilistic extension of the planner can rank the plans based on their ex-
pected success.We argued that knowledge about the content of the data (which
cannot be extracted fromthe data) has a strong in uence on the design of useful
work ows.Therefore,previously designed work ows for similar data and goals
likely contain an implicit encoding of this knowledge.This means an extension
to case-based planning is a promissing direction for future work as well.We
expect work ow templates to help us in case adaptation as well,because they
show what a sub-work ow wants to achieve on the data.
Acknowledgements:This work is supported by the European Community
framework ICT-2007.4.4 (No 231519)\e-Lico:An e-Laboratory for Interdis-
ciplinary Collaborative Research in Data Mining and Data-Intensive Science".
- 11 -
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- 12 -
Workflow Analysis using Graph Kernels
Natalja Friesen and Stefan Rüping
Fraunhofer IAIS,53754 St.Augustin,Germany,
WWWhome page:
Abstract.Workflow enacting systems are a popular technology in busi-
ness and e-science alike to flexibly define and enact complex data pro-
cessing tasks.Since the construction of a workflow for a specific task can
become quite complex,efforts are currently underway to increase the
re-use of workflows through the implementation of specialized workflow
repositories.While existing methods to exploit the knowledge in these
repositories usually consider workflows as an atomic entity,our work is
based on the fact that workflows can naturally be viewed as graphs.
Hence,in this paper we investigate the use of graph kernels for the prob-
lems of workflow discovery,workflow recommendation,and workflow pat-
tern extraction,paying special attention to the typical situation of few
labeled and many unlabeled workflows.To empirically demonstrate the
feasibility of our approach we investigate a dataset of bioinformatics
workflows retrieved from the website
Key words:Workflow analysis,graph mining
1 Introduction
Workflow enacting systems are a popular technology in business and e-science
alike to flexibly define and enact complex data processing tasks.A workflow is
basically a description of the order in which a set of services have to be called with
which input in order to solve a given task.Since the construction of a workflow
for a specific task can become quite complex,efforts are currently underway to
increase the re-use of workflows through the implementation of specialized work-
flow repositories.Driven by specific applications,a large collection of workflow
systems have been prototyped such as Taverna [12] or Triana [15].
As the high numbers of workflows can be generated and stored relatively
easily it becomes increasingly hard to keep an overview about the available
workflows.Workflow repositories and websites such as tackle
this problem by offering the research community the possibility to publish and
exchange complete workflows.An even higher amount of integration has been
described in the idea of developing a Virtual Research Environment (VRE,[2]).
Due to the complexity of managing a large repository of workflows,data
mining approaches are needed to support the user in making good use of the
knowledge that is encoded in these workflows.In order to improve the flexibility
of a workflow system,a number of data mining tasks can be defined:
- 13 -
Workflow recommendation:Compute a ranking of the available workflows with
respect to their interestingness to the user for a given task.As it is hard to
formally model the user’s task and his interest in a workflow,one can also
define the task of finding a measure of similarity on workflows.Given a
(partial) workflow for the task the user is interested in,the most similar
workflows are then recommended to the user.
Metadata extraction:Given a workflow (and possibly partial metadata),in-
fer the metadata that describes the workflow best.As most approaches for
searching and organizing workflows are based on descriptive metadata,this
task can be seen as the automatization of the extraction of workflow seman-
Pattern extraction:Given a set of workflows,extract a set of sub-patterns that
are characteristic for this workflow.Apractical purpose of these patterns is to
serve as building blocks for new workflows.In particular,given several sets of
workflows,one can also define the task of extracting the most discriminative
patterns,i.e.patterns that are characteristic for one group but not the others.
Workflow construction:Given a description of the task,automatically con-
struct a workflow solving the task from scratch.An approach to workflow
construction,based on cooperative planning,is proposed in [11].However,
this approach requires a detailed ontology of services [8],which in practice
is often not available.Hence,we do not investigate this task in this paper.
In existing approaches to the retrieval and discovery of workflows,workflows are
usually considered as an atomic entity,using workflow meta data such as its
usage history,textual descriptions (in particular tags),or user-generated quality
labels as descriptive attributes.While these approaches can deliver high quality
results,they are limited by the fact that all these attributes require either a
high user effort to describe the workflow (to use text mining techniques),or a
frequent use of each workflow by many different users (to mine for correlations).
We restrict our investigations to second approach considering the case where a
large collection of working workflow is available.
In this paper we are interested in supporting the user in constructing the
workflow and reducing the manual effort of workflow tagging.The reason for the
focus on the early phases of workflow construction is that in practice it can be
observed that often users are reluctant to put too much effort into describing
a workflow;they are usually only interested in using the workflow system as a
means to get their work done.A second aspect to be considered is that without
proper means to discover existing workflows for re-use,it will be hard to receive
enough usage information on a new workflow to start up a correlation-based
recommendation in the first place.
To address these problems,we have opted to investigate solutions to the
previously described data mining tasks that can be applied in the common sit-
uation of many unlabeled workflows,using only the workflow description itself
and no meta data.Our work is based on the fact that workflows can be viewed
as graphs.We will demonstrate that by the use of graph kernels it is possible to
effectively extract workflow semantics and use this knowledge for the problems of
- 14 -
workflow recommendation and metadata extraction.The purpose of this paper
is to answer the following questions:
Q1:How good are graph kernels at performing the tasks of workflow recom-
mendation without explicit user input?We will present an approach that is
based on exploiting workflow similarity.
Q2:Can appropriate meta data about a workflow be extracted from the work-
flow itself?What can we infer about the semantics of a workflow and its
key characteristics?In particular,we will investigate the task of tagging a
workflow with a set of user-defined keywords.
Q3:How good does graph mining performat a descriptive approach of workflow
analysis,namely the extraction of meaningful graph patterns?
The remainder of the paper is structured as follows:Next,we will discuss related
work in the area of workflowsystems.In Section 3,we give a detailed discussion of
representation of workflows and the associated metadata.Section 4 will present
the approach of using graph kernels for workflow analysis.The approach will be
evaluated on four distinct learning tasks on a dataset of bioinformatics workflows
retrieved from the website in Section 5.Section 6
2 Related Work
Since workflow systems are getting more complicated,the development of effec-
tive discovery techniques particularly for this field has been addressed by many
researcher during the last years.Public repositories that enable sharing of work-
flows are widely used both in business and scientific communities.While first
steps toward supporting the user have been made,there is still a need to im-
prove the effectiveness of discovery methods and support the user in navigating
the space of available workflows.A detailed overview of different approaches for
workflow discovery is given by Goderis [4].
Most approaches are based on simple search functionalities and consider a
workflow as an atomic entity.Searching over workflow annotation like titles,
textual description,or discovery on the basis of user profiles belongs to ba-
sic capabilities of repositories such as myExperiment [14],BioWep
commercial systems like Infosense and Pipeline Pilot.
In [5] a detailed study about current practices in workflow sharing,re-using
and retrieval is presented.To summarize,the need to take into account structural
properties of workflows in the retrieval process was underlined by several users.
Authors demonstrate that existing techniques are not sufficient and there is
still a need for effective discovery tools.In [6] retrieval techniques and methods
for ranking discovered workflows based on graph-subisomorphism matching are
presented.Coralles [1] proposes a method for calculating the structural similarity
- 15 -
of two BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) workflows represented by
graphs.It is based on error correcting graph subisomorphism detection.
Apart from workflow sharing and retrieval,the design of new workflows is an
immense challenge to users of workflow systems.It is both time-consuming and
error-prone,as there is a great diversity of choices regarding services,parameters,
and their interconnections.It requires the researcher to have specific knowledge
in both his research area and in the use of the workflow system.Consequently,it
is preferable for a researcher to not start from scratch,but to receive assistance
in the creation of a new workflow.
A good way to implement this assistance is to reuse or re-purpose existing
workflows or workflow patterns (i.e.more generic fragments of workflows).An
example of workflow re-use is given in [7],where a workflow to identify genes
involved in tolerance to Trypanosomiasis in East African cattle was reused suc-
cessfully by another scientist to identify the biological pathways implicated in
the ability of mice to expel the Trichuris Muris parasite.
In [7] it is argued that designing new workflows by reusing and re-purposing
previous workflows or workflows patterns has the following advantages:
– Reduction of workflow authoring time
– Improved quality through shared workflow development
– Improved experimental provenance through reuse of established and vali-
dated workflows
– Avoidance of workflow redundancy
While there has been some research comparing workflow patterns in a number
of commercially available workflow management systems [17] or identifying pat-
terns that describe the behavior of business processes [18],to the best of our
knowledge there exists no work to automatically extract patterns.A pattern
mining method for business workflows based on calculation of support values
is presented in [16].However,the set of patterns that was used was derived
manually based on an extensive literature study.
3 Workflows
A workflow is a way to formalize and structure complex data analysis exper-
iments.Scientific workflows can be described as a sequence of computation
steps together with predefined input and output that arise in scientific problem-
solving.Such a definition of workflows enables sharing analysis knowledge within
scientific communities in a convenient way.
We consider the discovery of similar workflows in the context of a specific
VRE called myExperiment [13].MyExperiment has been developed to support
sharing of scientific objects associated with an experiment.It is a collaborative
environment where scientists can publish their workflows.Each stored workflow
is created by a specific user,is associated with a workflow graph,and contains
metadata and certain statistics such as the number of downloads or the average
rating given by the users.We split all available information about a workflow
- 16 -
into four different groups:the workflow graph,textual data,user information,
and workflow statistics.Next we will characterize each group in more detail.
Textual Data:Each workflow in myExperiment has a title and a description
text and contains information about the creator and date of creation.Fur-
thermore,the associated tags annotate workflow by several keywords that
facilitate searching for workflows and provide more precise results.
User Information:MyExperiment was thought also as a social infrastructure
for the researchers.The social component is realized by registration of users
and allows themto create profiles with different kind of personal information,
details about their work and professional life.The members of myExperiment
can form complex relationships with other members,such as creating or
joining user groups or giving credit to others.All this information can be
used in order to find the groups of users having similar research interests or
working in related projects.In the end,this type of information can be used
to generate the well known correlation-based recommendations of the type
“users who liked this workflow also liked the following workflows...”.
Workflow Statistics:As statistic data we consider information that is changing
with the time,such as the number of views or downloads or the average
rating.Statistic data can be very useful for providing a user with a workflow
he is likely to be interested in.As we do not have direct information about
user preferences,some of the statistics data,e.g.number of downloads or
rating,can be considered as a kind of quality measure.
4 A Graph Mining Approach to Workflow Analysis
The characterization of a workflow by metadata alone is challenging because
neither of these features give an insight into the underlying sub-structures of the
workflow.It is clear that users do not always create a new workflow fromscratch,
but most likely re-use old components and sub-workflows.Hence,knowledge of
sub-structures is important information to characterize a workflow completely.
The common approach to represent objects for a learning problem is to de-
scribe them as vectors in a feature space.However,when we handle objects that
have important sub-structures,such as workflows,the design of a suitable feature
space is not trivial.For this reason,we opt to follow a graph mining approach.
4.1 Frequent Subgraphs
Frequent subgraph discovery has received a lot of attention,since it has a wide
range of applications areas.Frequently occurring subgraphs in a large set of
graphs can represent important motifs in the data.Given a set of graphs G,the
support S(G) of a graph G is defined as the fraction of graphs in G in which G
occurs.The problem of finding frequent patterns is defined as follows:
Given a set of graphs G and minimum support S
,we want to find all
connected subgraphs that occur frequently enough (i.e.S(G) >= S
) over the
entire set of graphs.The output of the discovery process may contain a large
number of such patterns.
- 17 -
4.2 Graph Kernels
Graph kernels,as originally proposed by [3,10],provide a general framework
for handling graph data structures by kernel methods.Different approaches for
defining graph kernels exist.A popular representation of graphs that is used for
examples in protein modeling and drug screening are kernels based on cyclic
patterns [9].However,these are not applicable to workflow data,as workflows
are by definition acyclic (because an edge between services A and B represents
the relation “A must finish before B can start”).
To adequately represent the decomposition of workflows into functional sub-
structures,we follow a third approach:the set of graphs is searched for substruc-
tures (in this case paths) that occur in at least a given percentage (support) of
all graphs.Then,the feature vector is composed of the weighted counts of such
paths.The substructures are sequences of labeled vertices that were produced by
graph traversal.The length of a substructure is equal to the number of vertices
in it.This family of kernels is called Label Sequence Kernels.The main differ-
ence among the kernels lies in how graphs are traversed and how weights are
involved in computing a kernel.According to the extracted substructures,these
are kernels based on walks,trees or cycles.In our work we used walks based
exponential kernels proposed by Gärtner et al.[3].Since workflows are directed
acyclic graphs,in our special case the hardness results of [3] no longer hold and
we actually can enumerate all walks.This allows us to explicitly generate the
feature space representation of the kernels by defining the attribute values for
every substructure (walk).For each substructure s in the set of graphs,let k be
the length of the substructure.Then,the attribute 
is defined as:


if the graph contains the substructure s and 
= 0 else.Here  is a parameter
that can be optimized, cross-validation.A very important advantage
of graph kernels approach for discovery task is that distinct substructures can
provide an insight into the specific behavior of the the workflow.
4.3 Graph Representation of Workflows
A workflow can be formalized as a directed acyclic labeled graph.The workflow
graph has two kind of nodes:regular nodes representing the computation op-
erations and nodes defining input/output data structure.A set of edges shows
information and control flow between the nodes.More formally,a workflow graph
can be defined as a tuple W = (N;T),where:
N = fC;I;Og
C = finite set of computation operations,
I/O = finite set of inputs or outputs
T  N N = finite set of transitions defining the control flow.
Labeled graphs contain an additional source of information.There are several
alternatives to obtain node labels.On the one hand,users often annotate single
- 18 -
workflow components by a combination of words or abbreviations.On the other
hand,each component within workflow system has a signature and an identifier
associated with it, web-service WSDL format.User created labels suffer
from subjectivity and diversity,e.g.the same node representing the same com-
putational operation can be labeled in very different way.The first alternative
again assumes some type of user input,so we opt to use the second alternative.
An exemplary case where this choice makes a clear difference will be presented
later in Section 5.2.
Figure 1 shows an example of such transformation obtained for a Taverna
workflow [12].While the left pictures shows a user annotated components the
right picture presents workflow graph on the next abstraction level.Obviously,
the choice of the right abstraction level is crucial.In this paper,we use a hand-
crafted abstraction that was developed especially for the MyExperiment data.
In general,the use of data mining ontologies [8] may be preferable.
Fig.1.Transformation of Taverna workflow to the workflow graph.
- 19 -
Most frequent tags
Workflows using local scripts.
Sequence similarity search
using the BLAST algorithm
Benchmarks WFs.
AIDA,BioAID,text mining,
Text mining on biomedical texts using
the AIDA toolbox and BioAID web
Molecular pathway analysis using the
Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and
Genomes (KEGG)
Table 1.Characterization of workflow groups derived by clustering.
5 Evaluation
In this section we illustrate the use of workflow structure and graph kernels in
particular for workflow discovery and pattern extraction.We evaluate results on
a real-world dataset of Taverna workflows.However,the same approach can be
applied to other workflow systems,as long as the workflows can be transformed
to a graph in a consistent way.
5.1 Dataset
For the purposes of this evaluation we used a corpus of 300 real-world bioinfor-
matics workflows retrieved from myExperiment [13].We chose to restrict our-
selves to workflows that were created in Taverna workbench [12] in oder to
simplify the formatting of workflows.Since the application area of myExperi-
ment is restricted to bioinformatics,it is likely that sets of similar workflows
exist.In the data,user feedback about the similarity of workflow pairs is miss-
ing.Hence,we use semantic information to obtain workflows similarity.We made
the assumption that workflows targeting the same tasks are similar.Under this
assumption we used the cosine similarity of the vector of tags assigned to the
workflow as a proxy for the true similarity.An optimization over the number of
clusters resulted in five groups shown in Table 1.These tags indeed impose a
clear structuring with few overlaps on the workflows.
5.2 Workflow Recommendation
In this section,we address Question Q1:“How good are graph kernels at per-
forming the tasks of workflow recommendation without explicit user input?” The
goal is to retrieve workflows that are"close enough"to a user’s context.To do
this,we need to be able to compare workflows available in existing VREs with
the user’s one.As similarity measure we use the graph kernel from Section 4.2.
- 20 -
We compare our approach based on graph kernels to the following techniques
representing the current state of the art [6]:matching of workflow graphs based
on the size of the maximal common subgraph (MCS) and a method that considers
a workflow as a bag of services.In addition to these techniques we also consider a
standard text mining approach,whose main idea is that workflows are documents
in XML format.The similarity of a workflow pair is then calculated as the cosine
distance between the respective word vectors.
In our experiment we predict if two workflows belong to the same cluster.
Table 5.2 summarizes the average performances of a leave-one-out evaluation
for the four approaches.It can be seen that graph kernels clearly outperform
all other approaches in accuracy and recall.For precision,MCS performs best,
however,at the cost of a minimal recall.The precision of graph kernels ranks
second and is close to the value of MCS.
Graph Kernels
81:2 10:0
71:9 22:0
38:3 21:1
73:9 9:3
73:5 24:7
4:8 27:4
Bags of services
73:5 10:3
15:5 20:6
3:4 30:1
Text Mining
77:8 8:31
67:2 21:5
31:2 25:8
Table 2.Performance of workflow discovery.
We conclude that graph kernels are very promising for the task of workflow
recommendation based only on graph structure without explicit user input.
5.3 Workflow Tagging
We are now interested in Question Q2 of extraction of appropriate metadata
from workflows.As a prototypical piece of metadata,we investigate user-defined
20 tags were selected that occur in at least 3% of all workflows.We use tags
as proxies that represent the real-world task that a workflow can perform.For
each tag we would like to predict if it describes a given workflow.To do that we
utilize graph kernels.We tested two algorithms:SVM and k-Nearest Neighbor.
Table 3 shows the results of tag prediction evaluated by 2-fold cross validation
over 20 keywords,It can be seen that an SVMwith graph kernels can predict the
selected tags with high AUC and precision,while a Nearest Neighbor approach
using graph kernels to define the distance achieves a higher recall.
We can conclude that the graph representation of workflow contains enough
information to predict appropriate metadata.
5.4 Pattern extraction
Finally,we investigate question Q4,which deals with the more descriptive task
of extracting meaningful patterns from sets of workflows that are helpful in the
construction of new workflows.
- 21 -
Nearest Neighbors
0:54 0:18
0:51 0:21
0:58 0:19
0:85 0:10
0:84 0:24
0:38 0:29
Table 3.Accuracy of workflows tagging based on graph kernels averaged over all 20
We address the issue of extracting patterns that are particularly important
within a group of similar workflows in several steps.First,we use a SVM to
build a classification model based on the graph kernels.This model identifies all
workflows which belong to the same group against workflows from other groups.
Then we search for features having high weight value which the model consid-
ers as important.We performed such pattern extraction targeting consequently
each workflow group.A 10-fold cross-validation shows that this classification
can be achieved with high accuracy,values ranging between 81:3% and 94:7%,
depending on the class.However,we are more interested in the most significant
patterns,which we determine based on the weight that was assigned by the SVM
(taking the standard deviation into account).
Figure 2 shows an example of workflow patterns and the same pattern in-
side a workflow that it occurs in.It was considered as important for classifying
workflows from group 2,which consists of workflows using the BLAST algo-
rithm to calculate sequences similarity.The presented pattern is a sequence of
components that are needed to run a BLAST service.
This example shows that graph kernels can be used to extract useful patterns,
which then can be recommended to the user during creation of a new workflow.
6 Conclusions
Workflow enacting systems have become a popular tool for the easy orchestra-
tion of complex data processing tasks.However,the design and management of
workflows are a complex tasks.Machine learning techniques have the potential
to significantly simplify this work for the user.
In this paper,we have discussed the usage of graph kernels for the analysis
of workflow data.We argue that graph kernels are very useful in the practically
important situation where no meta data is available.This is due to the fact
that the graph kernel approach allows to take decompositions of the workflow
into its substructures into account,while allowing an flexible integration of these
information contained into these substructures into several learning algorithms.
We have evaluated the use of graph kernels in the fields of workflow similarity
prediction,metadata extraction,and pattern extraction.A comparison of graph-
based workflow analysis with metadata-based workflow analysis in the field of
workflow quality modeling showed that metadata-based approaches outperform
graph-based approaches in this application.However,it is important to recognize
that the goal of the graph-based approach is not to replace the metadata-based
approaches,but to serve as an extension when no or few metadata is available.
- 22 -
Fig.2.Example of workflow graph.
The next step in our work will be to evaluate our approach in more realis-
tic scenario.Future research will investigate several alternatives for the creation
of a workflow representation from a workflow graph in order to provide an ap-
propriate representation at different levels of abstraction.One possibility is to
obtain label of graph nodes using an ontology that describes the services and
key components of a workflow such as in [8].
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Re-using Data Mining Work ows
Stefan Ruping,Dennis Wegener,and Philipp Bremer
Fraunhofer IAIS,Schloss Birlinghoven,53754 Sankt Augustin,Germany
Abstract.Setting up and reusing data mining processes is a complex
task.Based on our experience from a project on the analysis of clinico-
genomic data we will make the point that supporting the setup and
reuse by setting up large work ow repositories may not be realistic in
practice.We describe an approach for automatically collecting work ow
information and meta data and introduce data mining patterns as an
approach for formally describing the necessary information for work ow
Key words:Data Mining,Work ow Reuse,Data Mining Patterns
1 Introduction
Work ow enacting systems are a popular technology in business and e-science
alike to exibly dene and enact complex data processing tasks.A work ow is
basically a description of the order in which a set of services have to be called
with which input in order to solve a given task.Driven by specic applications,
a large collection of work ow systems have been prototyped,such as Taverna
or Triana
.The next generation of work ow systems are marked by work ow
repositories such as,which tackle the problem of organizing
work ows by oering the research community the possibility to publish,exchange
and discuss individual work ows.
However,the more powerful these environments become,the more important
it is to guide the user in the complex task of constructing appropriate work ows.
This is particularly true for the case of work ows which encode a data mining
tasks,which are typically much more complex and in a more constant state of
frequent change than work ows in business applications.
In this paper,we are particularly interested in the question of reusing success-
ful data mining applications.As the construction of a good data mining process
invariably requires to encode a signicant amount of domain knowledge,this is
a process which cannot be fully automated.By reusing and adapting existing
processes that have proven to be successful in practical use,we hope to be able
to save much of this manual work in a new application and thereby increase the
eciency of setting up data mining work ows.
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We report our experiences in designing a system which is targeted at sup-
porting scientists,in this case bioinformaticians,with a work ow system for the
analysis of clinico-genomic data.We will make the case that:
{ For practical reasons it is already a dicult task to gather a non-trivial
database of work ows which can form the basis of work ow reuse.
{ In order to be able to meaningfully reuse data mining work ows,a formal
notation is needed that bridges the gap between a description of the work-
ows at implementation level and a high-level textual description for the
work ow designer.
The paper is structured as follows:In the next section,we introduce the
ACGT project,in the context of which our work was developed.Section 3 de-
scribes an approach for automatically collecting work ow information and ap-
propriate meta data.Section 4 presents data mining patterns which formally
describe all information that is necessary for work ow reuse.Section 5 concludes.
2 The ACGT Project
The work in this paper is based on our experiences in the ACGT project
has the goal of implementing a secure,semantically enhanced end-to-end system
in support of large multi-centric clinico-genomic trials,meaning that it strives
to integrate all steps from the collection and management of various kinds of
data in a trial up to the statistical analysis by the researcher.In the current
version,the various elements of the data mining environment can be integrated
into complex analysis pipelines through the ACGT work ow editor and enactor.
With respect to work ow reuse,we made the following experiences in setting up
and running an initial version of the ACGT environment:
{ The construction of data mining work ows is an inherently complex problem
when it is based on input data with complex semantics,as it is the case in
clinical and genomic data.
{ Because of the complex data dependencies,copy and paste is not an appro-
priate technique for work ow reuse.
{ Standardization and reuse of approaches and algorithms works very well on
the level of services,but not on the level of work ows.While it is relatively
easy to select the right parameterization of a service,making the right con-
nections and changes to a work owtemplate is quickly getting quite complex,
such that user nds it easier to construct a new work ow from scratch.
{ Work ow reuse only occurs when the initial creator of a work ow detailedly
describes the internal logic of the work ow.However,most work ow creators
avoid this eort because they simply want to\solve the task at hand".
In summary,the situation of having a large repository of work ows to chose
the appropriate one from,which is often assumed in existing approaches for
work ow recommendation systems,may not be very realistic in practice.
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3 Collecting Work ow Information
To obtain information about the human creation of data mining work ows it is
necessary to design a system which collects realistic data mining work ows out
of the production cycle.We developed a systemwhich collects data mining work-
ows based on plug-ins which were integrated into the data mining software used
for production [1].In particular,we developed plug-ins for Rapidminer,which is
an open source data mining software,and Obwious,a self-developed text-mining
tool.Every time the user executes a work ow,the work ow denition is send to
a repository and stored in a shared abstract representation.The shared abstract
representation is mandatory as we want to compare the dierent formats and
types of work ows and to extract the interesting information out of a wide range
of work ows to get a high diversity.
As we do not only want to observe the nal version of a humanly created
work ow but the whole chain of work ows which were created in the process
of nding and creating this nal version,we also need a representation of this
chain of work ows.We will call the collection of the connected work ows from
the work ow life cycle which solves the same data mining problem on the same
data base a work ow design sequence.
The shared abstract representation of the work ows is solely orientated on
CRISP-Phases and its common tasks,as described in [2].Based on this we cre-
ated the following six classes:(1) data preparation:select data,(2) data prepa-
ration:clean data,(3) data preparation:construct data,(4) data preparation:
integrate data,(5) data preparation:format data,(6) modeling,and (7) other.
Of course,it would be also be of interest to use more detailed structures,such
as the data mining ontology presented in [3].The operators of the data mining
software that was used are classied using these classes and the work ows are
transferred to the shared abstract representation.The abstract information itself
consists of the information if any operator of the rst ve classes - the operators
which are doing data preparation tasks - is used in the work ow,and if any
changes in the operator themselves are done or if any changes in the parameter
settings are done in comparison to the predecessor in this sequence.Furthermore
in this representation it is noted which operators of the class Modeling are used
and if there are any changes operators or in their parameter setting in compari-
son to the predecessor in the design sequence.An example of this representation
is shown in Figure 1.
Fig.1.Visualization of a work ow design sequence in the abstract representation
- 27 -
At the end of the rst collection phase which lasted 6 months we have col-
lected 2520 work ows in our database which were created by 16 dierent users.
These work ows were processed into 133 work ow design sequences.According
to our assumption this would mean that there are about 33 real work ow design
sequences in our database.There was an imbalance on the distribution of work-
ows and work ow design sequences over the two software sources.Because of
heavy usage and an early development state of Obwious about 85% of work ows
and over 90% of work ow design sequences were created using Rapidminer.
Although there has to be much more time the system collects data there are
already some interesting informations in the derived data.In Figure 2 one can
see that in the work ow creation process the adjustment and modulation of the
data preparation operators is as important as the adjustment and modulation
of the learner operators.This is contrarily to common assumptions where the
focus is only set on the modeling phase and the learner operators.The average
length of a computed work ow design sequence is about 18 work ows.
In summary,our study shows that a human work ow creator produces many
somewhat similar work ows until he nds his nal version,which mainly dier in
operators and parameters of the CRISP-phases data preparation and modeling.
CRISP-phase absolute occurrences relative occurrences
Data preparation
Change 609 24,17%
Parameter change 405 16,07%
Sum of all changes 1014 40,24%
Change 215 8,53%
Parameter change 801 31,79%
Sum of all changes 1016 40,32%
Relative to the absolute count of all work ows of 2520
Fig.2.Occurrences of changes in CRISP-phases
4 Data Mining Patterns
In the area of data mining there exist a lot of scenarios where existing solutions
are reusable,especially when no research on new algorithms is necessary.Lots
of examples and ready-to-use algorithms are available as toolkits or services,
which only have to be integrated.However,the reuse and integration of existing
solutions is not often or only informally done in practice due to a lack of formal
support,which leads to a lot of unnecessary repetitive work.In the following we
present our approach on the reuse of data mining work ows by formally encoding
both technical and and high-level semantics of these work ows.
In this work,we aim at a formal representation of data mining processes to
facilitate their semi-automatic reuse in business processes.As visualized in Fig.
3,the approach should bridge the gap between a high-level description of the
process as in written documentation and scientic papers (which is to general to
- 28 -
lead to an automization of work),and a ne-grained technical description in the
form of an executable work ow (which is too specic to be re-used in slightly
dierent cases).
Fig.3.Dierent strategies of reusing data mining.
In [4] we presented a new process model for easy reuse and integration of
data mining in dierent business processes.The aim of this work was to allow
for reusing existing data mining processes that have proven to be successful.
Thus,we aimed at the development of a formal and concrete denition of the
steps that are involved in the data mining process and of the steps that are
necessary to reuse it in new business processes.In the following we will brie y
describe the steps that are necessary to allow for the reuse of data mining.
Our approach is based on CRISP [2].The basic idea is that when a data
mining solution is re-used,one can see several parts of the CRISP process are
pre-dened,and only needs to execute those parts of CRISP where the original
and re-used process dier.Hence,we dene Data Mining Patterns to describe
those parts that are pre-dened,and introduce a meta-process to model those
steps of CRISP which need to be executed when re-using a pattern on a concrete
data mining problem.Data Mining Patterns are dened such that the CRISP
process (more correctly,those parts of CRISP that can be pre-dened) is the
most general Data Mining Pattern,and that we can derive a more specialized
Data Mining Pattern out of a more general one by replacing a task by a more
specialized one (according to a hierarchy of tasks that we dene),
CRISP is a standard process model for data mining which describes the life
cycle of a data mining project in the following 6 phases:Business Understanding,
Data Understanding,Data Preparation,Modeling,Evaluation,and Deployment.
The CRISP model includes a four-level breakdown including phases,generic
tasks,specialized tasks and process instances for specifying dierent levels of
abstraction.In the end,the data mining patterns match most to the process
instance level of CRISP.In our approach we need to take into account that reuse
- 29 -
may in some cases only be possible at a general or conceptual level.We allow for
the specication of dierent levels of abstraction by the following hierarchy of
tasks:conceptual (only textual description is available),congurable (code
is available but parameters need to be specied),and executable (code and
parameters are specied).
The idea of our approach is to be able to describe all data mining processes.
The description needs to be as detailed as adequate for the given scenario.Thus,
we consider the tasks of the CRISP process as the most general data mining
pattern.Every concretion of this process for an specic application is also a data
mining pattern.The generic CRISP tasks can be transformed to the following
components:Check tasks in the pattern,e.g.checking if the data quality is
acceptable;Congurable tasks in the pattern,e.g.setting a certain service
parameter by hand;Executable tasks or gateways in the pattern which can
be executed without further specication;Tasks in the meta process that are
independent of a certain pattern,e.g.checking if the business objective of the
original data mining process and the new process are identical;Empty task as
the task is obsolete due to the pattern approach,e.g.producing a nal report.
We dened a data mining pattern as follows:The pattern representing the
extended CRISP model is a Data Mining Pattern.Each concretion of this
according to the presented hierarchy is also a Data Mining Pattern.
5 Discussion and Future Work
Setting up and reusing data mining work ows is a complex task.When many
dependencies on complex data exist,the situation found in work ow reuse is
fundamentally dierent from the one found in reusing services.In this paper,
we have given a short insight into the nature of this problem,based on our
experience in a project dealing with the analysis of clinico-genomic data.We
have proposed two approaches to improve the possibility for reusing work ows,
which are the automated collection of a meta data-rich work ow repository,and
the denition of data mining patterns to formally encode both technical and
high-level semantic of work ows.
1.Bremer,P.:Erstellung einer Datenbasis von Work owreihen aus realen Anwendun-
gen (in german),Diploma Thesis,University of Bonn (2010)
R.:CRISP-DM 1.0 Step-by-step data mining guide,CRISP-DM consortium (2000)
3.Hilario,M.,Kalousis,A.,Nguyen,P.,Woznica,A.:A Data Mining Ontology for
AlgorithmSelection and Meta-Learning.Proc.ECML/PKDD09 Workshop on Third
Generation Data Mining:Towards Service-oriented Knowledge Discovery (SoKD-
09),Bled,Slovenia,pp.76{87 (2009)
4.Wegener,D.,Ruping,S.:On Reusing Data Mining in Business Processes - A
Pattern-based Approach.BPM 2010 Workshops - Proceedings of the 1st Interna-
tional Workshop on Reuse in Business Process Management,Hoboken,NJ (2010)
- 30 -
An Ont
ology for Data Mining Experiments
Joaquin Vanschoren
and Larisa Soldatova
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven,Celestijnenlaan 200A,3001 Leuven,Belgium,
Aberystwyth University,Llandinum Bldg,Penglais,SY23 3DB Aberystwyth,UK,
Abstract.Research in machine learning and data mining can be speeded
up tremendously by moving empirical research results out of people’s
heads and labs,onto the network and into tools that help us structure
and filter the information.This paper presents Expos´e,an ontology to
describe machine learning experiments in a standardized fashion and
support a collaborative approach to the analysis of learning algorithms.
Using a common vocabulary,data mining experiments and details of
the used algorithms and datasets can be shared between individual re-
searchers,software agents,and the community at large.It enables open
repositories that collect and organize experiments by many researchers.