Home / Documentation / Basic Usage / Multiple Attribute Resolution

Basic Usage Tutorials 📖

This tutorial is part of a series to help you learn and perform the basic functions of zentity. Each tutorial adds a little more sophistication to the prior tutorials, so you can start simple and learn the more advanced features over time.

  1. Exact Name Matching
  2. Robust Name Matching
  3. Multiple Attribute Resolution ← You are here.
  4. Multiple Resolver Resolution
  5. Cross Index Resolution
  6. Scoping Resolution

Multiple Attribute Resolution

Never trust a single attribute in isolation, as a general rule.

Using a single attribute for entity resolution is a bad practice – an anti-pattern. It's an easy way to "snowball" many different entities together and drive up your false positive rate. The problem with using a single attribute is that any attribute is prone to error. Many people can share the same name or date of birth. A home address can be shared by family members or past residents. A Social Security Number can be forged, reissued, shared, or mistyped. A bogus value such as "N/A" or "unknown" can link many entities together.

Instead, trust multiple attributes to corroborate a match.

Consider this an exercise in probability theory. Suppose you have an index of millions of people. What's the probability that two people share the same name? It's probably high. What's the probability that people share the same name and the same phone number? It's probably much lower.

This tutorial adds more sophistication to the prior tutorials on exact name matching and robust name matching. This time you will map multiple attributes to multiple fields of a single index.

Let's dive in.

Before you start

You must install Elasticsearch, Kibana, and zentity to complete this tutorial. This tutorial was tested with zentity-1.5.0-elasticsearch-7.3.1.

Quick start

You can use the zentity sandbox which has the required software and data for these tutorials. This will let you skip many of the setup steps.

1. Prepare for the tutorial

1.1 Install the required plugins

Note: Skip this step if you're using the zentity sandbox.

This tutorial uses the phonetic analysis plugin and ICU analysis plugin for Elasticsearch. You will need to stop Elasticsearch, install these plugin, and start Elasticsearch. You can learn more about Elasticsearch plugin management here.

For Linux (in the $ES_HOME directory of a .tar.gz installation):

sudo bin/elasticsearch-plugin install analysis-phonetic
sudo bin/elasticsearch-plugin install analysis-icu

For Windows (in the $ES_HOME directory of a .zip installation):

bin/elasticsearch-plugin.bat install analysis-phonetic
bin/elasticsearch-plugin.bat install analysis-icu

1.2 Open the Kibana Console UI

The Kibana Console UI makes it easy to submit requests to Elasticsearch and read responses.

1.3 Delete any old tutorial indices

Note: Skip this step if you're using the zentity sandbox.

Let's start from scratch. Delete any tutorial indices you might have created from other tutorials.

DELETE zentity_tutorial_3_*

1.4 Create the tutorial index

Note: Skip this step if you're using the zentity sandbox.

Now create the index for this tutorial.

PUT zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution
{
  "settings": {
    "index": {
      "number_of_shards": 1,
      "number_of_replicas": 0,
      "analysis" : {
        "filter" : {
          "street_suffix_map" : {
            "pattern" : "(st)",
            "type" : "pattern_replace",
            "replacement" : "street"
          },
          "phonetic" : {
            "type" : "phonetic",
            "encoder" : "nysiis"
          },
          "punct_white" : {
            "pattern" : "\\p{Punct}",
            "type" : "pattern_replace",
            "replacement" : " "
          },
          "remove_non_digits" : {
            "pattern" : "[^\\d]",
            "type" : "pattern_replace",
            "replacement" : ""
          }
        },
        "analyzer" : {
          "name_clean" : {
            "filter" : [
              "icu_normalizer",
              "icu_folding",
              "punct_white"
            ],
            "tokenizer" : "standard"
          },
          "name_phonetic" : {
            "filter" : [
              "icu_normalizer",
              "icu_folding",
              "punct_white",
              "phonetic"
            ],
            "tokenizer" : "standard"
          },
          "street_clean" : {
            "filter" : [
              "icu_normalizer",
              "icu_folding",
              "punct_white",
              "trim"
            ],
            "tokenizer" : "keyword"
          },
          "phone_clean" : {
            "filter" : [
              "remove_non_digits"
            ],
            "tokenizer" : "keyword"
          }
        }
      }
    }
  },
  "mappings": {
    "properties": {
      "id": {
        "type": "keyword"
      },
      "first_name": {
        "type": "text",
        "fields": {
          "clean": {
            "type": "text",
            "analyzer": "name_clean"
          },
          "phonetic": {
            "type": "text",
            "analyzer": "name_phonetic"
          }
        }
      },
      "last_name": {
        "type": "text",
        "fields": {
          "clean": {
            "type": "text",
            "analyzer": "name_clean"
          },
          "phonetic": {
            "type": "text",
            "analyzer": "name_phonetic"
          }
        }
      },
      "street": {
        "type": "text",
        "fields": {
          "clean": {
            "type": "text",
            "analyzer": "street_clean"
          }
        }
      },
      "city": {
        "type": "text",
        "fields": {
          "clean": {
            "type": "text",
            "analyzer": "name_clean"
          }
        }
      },
      "state": {
        "type": "text",
        "fields": {
          "keyword": {
            "type": "keyword"
          }
        }
      },
      "phone": {
        "type": "text",
        "fields": {
          "clean": {
            "type": "text",
            "analyzer": "phone_clean"
          }
        }
      },
      "email": {
        "type": "text",
        "fields": {
          "keyword": {
            "type": "keyword"
          }
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

1.5 Load the tutorial data

Note: Skip this step if you're using the zentity sandbox.

Add the tutorial data to the index.

POST _bulk?refresh
{"index": {"_id": "1", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "Washington", "email": "[email protected]", "first_name": "Allie", "id": "1", "last_name": "Jones", "phone": "202-555-1234", "state": "DC", "street": "123 Main St"}
{"index": {"_id": "2", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "Washington", "email": "", "first_name": "Alicia", "id": "2", "last_name": "Johnson", "phone": "202-123-4567", "state": "DC", "street": "300 Main St"}
{"index": {"_id": "3", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "Washington", "email": "", "first_name": "Allie", "id": "3", "last_name": "Jones", "phone": "", "state": "DC", "street": "123 Main St"}
{"index": {"_id": "4", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "", "email": "", "first_name": "Ally", "id": "4", "last_name": "Joans", "phone": "202-555-1234", "state": "", "street": ""}
{"index": {"_id": "5", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "Arlington", "email": "[email protected]", "first_name": "Eli", "id": "5", "last_name": "Jonas", "phone": "", "state": "VA", "street": "500 23rd Street"}
{"index": {"_id": "6", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "Washington", "email": "[email protected]", "first_name": "Allison", "id": "6", "last_name": "Jones", "phone": "202-555-1234", "state": "DC", "street": "123 Main St"}
{"index": {"_id": "7", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "Washington", "email": "", "first_name": "Allison", "id": "7", "last_name": "Smith", "phone": "+1 (202) 555 1234", "state": "DC", "street": "555 Broad St"}
{"index": {"_id": "8", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "Washington", "email": "[email protected]", "first_name": "Alan", "id": "8", "last_name": "Smith", "phone": "202-000-5555", "state": "DC", "street": "555 Broad St"}
{"index": {"_id": "9", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "Washington", "email": "[email protected]", "first_name": "Alan", "id": "9", "last_name": "Smith", "phone": "2020005555", "state": "DC", "street": "555 Broad St"}
{"index": {"_id": "10", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "Washington", "email": "", "first_name": "Alison", "id": "10", "last_name": "Smith", "phone": "202-555-9876", "state": "DC", "street": "555 Broad St"}
{"index": {"_id": "11", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "", "email": "[email protected]", "first_name": "Alison", "id": "11", "last_name": "Jones-Smith", "phone": "2025559867", "state": "", "street": ""}
{"index": {"_id": "12", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "Washington", "email": "[email protected]", "first_name": "Allison", "id": "12", "last_name": "Jones-Smith", "phone": "", "state": "DC", "street": "555 Broad St"}
{"index": {"_id": "13", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "Arlington", "email": "[email protected]", "first_name": "Allison", "id": "13", "last_name": "Jones Smith", "phone": "703-555-5555", "state": "VA", "street": "1 Corporate Way"}
{"index": {"_id": "14", "_index": "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution"}}
{"city": "Arlington", "email": "[email protected]", "first_name": "Elise", "id": "14", "last_name": "Jonas", "phone": "703-555-5555", "state": "VA", "street": "1 Corporate Way"}

Here's what the tutorial data looks like.

id first_name last_name street city state phone email
1 Allie Jones 123 Main St Washington DC 202-555-1234 [email protected]
2 Alicia Johnson 300 Main St Washington DC 202-123-4567
3 Allie Jones 123 Main St Washington DC
4 Ally Joans 202-555-1234
5 Eli Jonas 500 23rd Street Arlington VA [email protected]
6 Allison Jones 123 Main St Washington DC 202-555-1234 [email protected]
7 Allison Smith 555 Broad St Washington DC +1 (202) 555 1234
8 Alan Smith 555 Broad St Washington DC 202-000-5555 [email protected]
9 Alan Smith 555 Broad St Washington DC 2020005555 [email protected]
10 Alison Smith 555 Broad St Washington DC 202-555-9876
11 Alison Jones-Smith 2025559867 [email protected]
12 Allison Jones-Smith 555 Broad St Washington DC [email protected]
13 Allison Jones Smith 1 Corporate Way Arlington VA 703-555-5555 [email protected]
14 Elise Jonas 1 Corporate Way Arlington VA 703-555-5555 [email protected]

2. Create the entity model

Note: Skip this step if you're using the zentity sandbox.

Let's use the Models API to create the entity model below. We'll review each part of the model in depth.

Request

PUT _zentity/models/zentity_tutorial_3_person
{
  "attributes": {
    "first_name": {
      "type": "string"
    },
    "last_name": {
      "type": "string"
    },
    "phone": {
      "type": "string"
    }
  },
  "resolvers": {
    "name_phone": {
      "attributes": [ "first_name", "last_name", "phone" ]
    }
  },
  "matchers": {
    "simple": {
      "clause": {
        "match": {
          "{{ field }}": "{{ value }}"
        }
      }
    },
    "fuzzy": {
      "clause": {
        "match": {
          "{{ field }}": {
            "query": "{{ value }}",
            "fuzziness": "1"
          }
        }
      }
    },
    "exact": {
      "clause": {
        "term": {
          "{{ field }}": "{{ value }}"
        }
      }
    }
  },
  "indices": {
    "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution": {
      "fields": {
        "first_name.clean": {
          "attribute": "first_name",
          "matcher": "fuzzy"
        },
        "first_name.phonetic": {
          "attribute": "first_name",
          "matcher": "simple"
        },
        "last_name.clean": {
          "attribute": "last_name",
          "matcher": "fuzzy"
        },
        "last_name.phonetic": {
          "attribute": "last_name",
          "matcher": "simple"
        },
        "phone.clean": {
          "attribute": "phone",
          "matcher": "fuzzy"
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

Response

{
  "_index" : ".zentity-models",
  "_type" : "doc",
  "_id" : "zentity_tutorial_3_person",
  "_version" : 1,
  "result" : "created",
  "_shards" : {
    "total" : 2,
    "successful" : 1,
    "failed" : 0
  },
  "_seq_no" : 1,
  "_primary_term" : 1
}

2.1 Review the attributes

We defined three attribute called "first_name", "last_name", and "phone" as shown in this section:

{
  "attributes": {
    "first_name": {
      "type": "string"
    },
    "last_name": {
      "type": "string"
    },
    "phone": {
      "type": "string"
    }
  }
}

2.2 Review the resolvers

We defined a single resolver called "name_phone" as shown in this section:

{
  "resolvers": {
    "name_phone": {
      "attributes": [ "first_name", "last_name", "phone" ]
    }
  }
}

2.3 Review the matchers

We defined three matchers called "simple", "fuzzy", and "exact" as shown in this section:

{
  "matchers": {
    "simple": {
      "clause": {
        "match": {
          "{{ field }}": "{{ value }}"
        }
      }
    },
    "fuzzy": {
      "clause": {
        "match": {
          "{{ field }}": {
            "query": "{{ value }}",
            "fuzziness": "1"
          }
        }
      }
    },
    "exact": {
      "clause": {
        "term": {
          "{{ field }}": "{{ value }}"
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

The "exact" matcher uses a simple term clause. term queries apply exact matching for keyword fields, while match queries apply fuzzy matching for text fields. We can use our "exact" matcher on index fields that have a keyword data type.

{
  "term": {
    "{{ field }}": "{{ value }}"
  }
}

2.4 Review the indices

We defined a single index as shown in this section:

{
  "indices": {
    "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution": {
      "fields": {
        "first_name.clean": {
          "attribute": "first_name",
          "matcher": "fuzzy"
        },
        "first_name.phonetic": {
          "attribute": "first_name",
          "matcher": "simple"
        },
        "last_name.clean": {
          "attribute": "last_name",
          "matcher": "fuzzy"
        },
        "last_name.phonetic": {
          "attribute": "last_name",
          "matcher": "simple"
        },
        "phone.clean": {
          "attribute": "phone",
          "matcher": "fuzzy"
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

Tip

Notice that the "phone.keyword" field is mapped to our "exact" matcher which uses a term query. Elasticsearch expects term queries to be executed on the exact value of keyword fields, whereas match queries apply full text analysis to values before performing the search. You might not get the results you'd expect if you run either a term query on a text field or a match query on a keyword field.

3. Resolve an entity

3.1 Run a basic resolution job

Let's use the Resolution API to resolve a person with a known first name, last name, and phone number.

Request

POST _zentity/resolution/zentity_tutorial_3_person?pretty&_source=false
{
  "attributes": {
    "first_name": [ "Allison" ],
    "last_name": [ "Jones" ],
    "phone": [ "202-555-9876" ]
  }
}

Response

{
  "took" : 15,
  "hits" : {
    "total" : 2,
    "hits" : [ {
      "_index" : "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution",
      "_type" : "_doc",
      "_id" : "11",
      "_hop" : 0,
      "_query" : 0,
      "_attributes" : {
        "first_name" : [ "Alison" ],
        "last_name" : [ "Jones-Smith" ],
        "phone" : [ "2025559867" ]
      }
    }, {
      "_index" : "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution",
      "_type" : "_doc",
      "_id" : "10",
      "_hop" : 1,
      "_query" : 0,
      "_attributes" : {
        "first_name" : [ "Alison" ],
        "last_name" : [ "Smith" ],
        "phone" : [ "202-555-9876" ]
      }
    } ]
  }
}

As expected, we retrieved two documents each with a matching first name, last name, and phone number. The documents were retrieved from different queries to the same index, as shown in the "_index", "_hop", and "_query" fields. All other documents were excluded from the results because they did not meet those criteria.

3.2 Show the "_source"

We can include the original values of each document as they exist in Elasticsearch.

Let's run the job again, and now let's include the "_source" field of each document. The "_source" field is the original JSON document that's stored in an Elasticsearch index.

Request

POST _zentity/resolution/zentity_tutorial_3_person?pretty&_source=true
{
  "attributes": {
    "first_name": [ "Allison" ],
    "last_name": [ "Jones" ],
    "phone": [ "202-555-9876" ]
  }
}

Response

{
  "took" : 16,
  "hits" : {
    "total" : 2,
    "hits" : [ {
      "_index" : "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution",
      "_type" : "_doc",
      "_id" : "11",
      "_hop" : 0,
      "_query" : 0,
      "_attributes" : {
        "first_name" : [ "Alison" ],
        "last_name" : [ "Jones-Smith" ],
        "phone" : [ "2025559867" ]
      },
      "_source" : {
        "city" : "",
        "email" : "[email protected]",
        "first_name" : "Alison",
        "id" : "11",
        "last_name" : "Jones-Smith",
        "phone" : "2025559867",
        "state" : "",
        "street" : ""
      }
    }, {
      "_index" : "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution",
      "_type" : "_doc",
      "_id" : "10",
      "_hop" : 1,
      "_query" : 0,
      "_attributes" : {
        "first_name" : [ "Alison" ],
        "last_name" : [ "Smith" ],
        "phone" : [ "202-555-9876" ]
      },
      "_source" : {
        "city" : "Washington",
        "email" : "",
        "first_name" : "Alison",
        "id" : "10",
        "last_name" : "Smith",
        "phone" : "202-555-9876",
        "state" : "DC",
        "street" : "555 Broad St"
      }
    } ]
  }
}

Now, in addition to the values mapped to our normalized "_attributes", we can see the values of those attributes and the values of every other field as they exist in the "_source" of the documents.

3.3 Show the "_explanation"

We can learn how the documents matched, too.

Let's run the job again, and now let's include the "_explanation" field to see exactly why each document matched. The "_explanation" field tells us which resolvers caused a document to match, and more specifically, which input value matched which indexed value using which matcher and any parameters.

Request

POST _zentity/resolution/zentity_tutorial_3_person?pretty&_source=true&_explanation=true
{
  "attributes": {
    "first_name": [ "Allison" ],
    "last_name": [ "Jones" ],
    "phone": [ "202-555-9876" ]
  }
}

Response

{
  "took" : 20,
  "hits" : {
    "total" : 2,
    "hits" : [ {
      "_index" : "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution",
      "_type" : "_doc",
      "_id" : "11",
      "_hop" : 0,
      "_query" : 0,
      "_attributes" : {
        "first_name" : [ "Alison" ],
        "last_name" : [ "Jones-Smith" ],
        "phone" : [ "2025559867" ]
      },
      "_explanation" : {
        "resolvers" : {
          "name_phone" : {
            "attributes" : [ "first_name", "last_name", "phone" ]
          }
        },
        "matches" : [ {
          "attribute" : "first_name",
          "target_field" : "first_name.clean",
          "target_value" : "Alison",
          "input_value" : "Allison",
          "input_matcher" : "fuzzy",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        }, {
          "attribute" : "first_name",
          "target_field" : "first_name.phonetic",
          "target_value" : "Alison",
          "input_value" : "Allison",
          "input_matcher" : "simple",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        }, {
          "attribute" : "last_name",
          "target_field" : "last_name.clean",
          "target_value" : "Jones-Smith",
          "input_value" : "Jones",
          "input_matcher" : "fuzzy",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        }, {
          "attribute" : "last_name",
          "target_field" : "last_name.phonetic",
          "target_value" : "Jones-Smith",
          "input_value" : "Jones",
          "input_matcher" : "simple",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        }, {
          "attribute" : "phone",
          "target_field" : "phone.clean",
          "target_value" : "2025559867",
          "input_value" : "202-555-9876",
          "input_matcher" : "fuzzy",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        } ]
      },
      "_source" : {
        "city" : "",
        "email" : "[email protected]",
        "first_name" : "Alison",
        "id" : "11",
        "last_name" : "Jones-Smith",
        "phone" : "2025559867",
        "state" : "",
        "street" : ""
      }
    }, {
      "_index" : "zentity_tutorial_3_multiple_attribute_resolution",
      "_type" : "_doc",
      "_id" : "10",
      "_hop" : 1,
      "_query" : 0,
      "_attributes" : {
        "first_name" : [ "Alison" ],
        "last_name" : [ "Smith" ],
        "phone" : [ "202-555-9876" ]
      },
      "_explanation" : {
        "resolvers" : {
          "name_phone" : {
            "attributes" : [ "first_name", "last_name", "phone" ]
          }
        },
        "matches" : [ {
          "attribute" : "first_name",
          "target_field" : "first_name.clean",
          "target_value" : "Alison",
          "input_value" : "Alison",
          "input_matcher" : "fuzzy",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        }, {
          "attribute" : "first_name",
          "target_field" : "first_name.clean",
          "target_value" : "Alison",
          "input_value" : "Allison",
          "input_matcher" : "fuzzy",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        }, {
          "attribute" : "first_name",
          "target_field" : "first_name.phonetic",
          "target_value" : "Alison",
          "input_value" : "Alison",
          "input_matcher" : "simple",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        }, {
          "attribute" : "first_name",
          "target_field" : "first_name.phonetic",
          "target_value" : "Alison",
          "input_value" : "Allison",
          "input_matcher" : "simple",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        }, {
          "attribute" : "last_name",
          "target_field" : "last_name.clean",
          "target_value" : "Smith",
          "input_value" : "Jones-Smith",
          "input_matcher" : "fuzzy",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        }, {
          "attribute" : "last_name",
          "target_field" : "last_name.phonetic",
          "target_value" : "Smith",
          "input_value" : "Jones-Smith",
          "input_matcher" : "simple",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        }, {
          "attribute" : "phone",
          "target_field" : "phone.clean",
          "target_value" : "202-555-9876",
          "input_value" : "202-555-9876",
          "input_matcher" : "fuzzy",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        }, {
          "attribute" : "phone",
          "target_field" : "phone.clean",
          "target_value" : "202-555-9876",
          "input_value" : "2025559867",
          "input_matcher" : "fuzzy",
          "input_matcher_params" : { }
        } ]
      },
      "_source" : {
        "city" : "Washington",
        "email" : "",
        "first_name" : "Alison",
        "id" : "10",
        "last_name" : "Smith",
        "phone" : "202-555-9876",
        "state" : "DC",
        "street" : "555 Broad St"
      }
    } ]
  }
}

Each document matched because of the "name_phone" resolver as shown under "_explanation"."resolvers". But the resolvers matched for different reasons in each document. Notice that the first document matched on hop 0 and the other document matched on hop 1. The "last_name" of the input ("Jones") matched the "last_name" of the second matching document ("Smith") because both matched the "last_name" of the first matching document ("Jones-Smith") and each document also had matching "first_name" and "phone" attributes.

You can see that our "fuzzy" matcher is handling messy values successfully, too, as shown in the example below. Notice how the last two numbers are transposed (76 and 67), which is a common form of typo.

"_explanation": {
  ...
  "matches": [
    {
      "attribute" : "phone",
      "target_field" : "phone.clean",
      "target_value" : "202-555-9876",
      "input_value" : "2025559867",
      "input_matcher" : "fuzzy",
      "input_matcher_params" : { }
    },
    ...
  ]
}

Conclusion

Congratulations! You learned how to map multiple attributes to multiple fields in a single index.

Hopefully a couple things are becoming clear in this tutorial:

  1. Entity resolution is complex. This tutorial shows a simple example, and already there are many nuances to consider in the results, as we can see in the "_explanation" field.
  2. The "_explanation" field is a powerful tool for understanding, troubleshooting, and optimizing your match logic – especially as your data and models become more complex.

The next tutorial will introduce multiple resolver resolution. You will resolve an entity using multiple combinations of attributes (i.e. "resolvers") mapped to multiple fields of a single index.

 


Continue Reading

Robust Name Matching Multiple Resolver Resolution
© 2018 Dave Moore.
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