To Know Entity Resolution is to Love Entity Resolution
I’ve been building entity resolution algorithms for a very long time.
The first time, in the early 80’s for credit bureaus/collection agencies as they needed ‘debtor matching.’ God forbid they call the same person twice for two different debts.
Then come the ‘90’s and I find myself in Las Vegas being asked to figure out who is who across their various casino systems. The goal being to better understand who they were doing business with by correlating these people with subjects of interest (ranging from regulatory watch lists to the kids in the MIT card count team).
This second generation became known as Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness (NORA).
Little did I know entity resolution, the term of art as we would come to call it, is so fundamentally important, everywhere.
Entity resolution: Recognizing when two observations relate to the same entity, despite having been described differently. And conversely, recognizing when two observations do not relate to the same entity, despite having been described similarly.
- You notice you have duplicates in your address book. Entity resolution.
- Your favorite hotel chain has three different loyalty club numbers for you. Entity resolution.
- An organization is sending you promotions. They want you to be a customer; but you are already a customer. Entity resolution.
- The government lets a known terrorist into the country because of a slight name variation in their watch list. Entity resolution.
- I say “the artist formerly known as Prince” — you recall the fancy symbol and a song called Purple Rain. Entity resolution.
- Your phone rings. It’s mom’s number. The voice is your father’s. You say “hi dad.” Entity resolution.
- You hear a jet in the sky. You look up. There is one jet. The sound is trailing. You associate the image with the sound. Entity resolution.
Entity resolution is fundamental to intelligence — any form of intelligence, human intelligence, machine intelligence, or otherwise.
I’ve recently brought my Senzing company out of stealth. After nine years of breakthrough engineering we are set to democratize entity resolution. No longer are organizations going to have to pay out the wazoo and be beholden to those rare experts skilled in the dark art of entity resolution.
Senzing: Easy, smart, affordable entity resolution for everyone, everywhere.