Somaraki, Vassiliki (2013) A framework for trend mining with application to medical data. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis presents research work conducted in the field of knowledge discovery. It presents an integrated trend-mining framework and SOMA, which is the application of the trend-mining framework in diabetic retinopathy data. Trend mining is the process of identifying and analysing trends in the context of the variation of support of the association/classification rules that have been extracted from longitudinal datasets. The integrated framework concerns all major processes from data preparation to the extraction of knowledge. At the pre-process stage, data are cleaned, transformed if necessary, and sorted into time-stamped datasets using logic rules. At the next stage, time-stamp datasets are passed through the main processing, in which the ARM technique of matrix algorithm is applied to identify frequent rules with acceptable confidence. Mathematical conditions are applied to classify the sequences of support values into trends. Afterwards, interestingness criteria are applied to obtain interesting knowledge, and a visualization technique is proposed that maps how objects are moving from the previous to the next time stamp.

A validation and verification (external and internal validation) framework is described that aims to ensure that the results at the intermediate stages of the framework are correct and that the framework as a whole can yield results that demonstrate causality.

To evaluate the thesis, SOMA was developed.

The dataset is, in itself, also of interest, as it is very noisy (in common with other similar medical datasets) and does not feature a clear association between specific time stamps and subsets of the data. The Royal Liverpool University Hospital has been a major centre for retinopathy research since 1991. Retinopathy is a generic term used to describe damage to the retina of the eye, which can, in the long term, lead to visual loss. Diabetic retinopathy is used to evaluate the framework, to determine whether SOMA can extract knowledge that is already known to the medics. The results show that those datasets can be used to extract knowledge that can show causality between patients’ characteristics such as the age of patient at diagnosis, type of diabetes, duration of diabetes, and diabetic retinopathy.

vsomarakifinalthesis.pdf - Submitted Version

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