Safe projections of binary data sets

Nikolaj Tatti

Selectivity estimation of a boolean query based on frequent itemsets can be solved by describing the problem by a linear program. However, the number of variables in the equations is exponential, rendering the approach tractable only for small-dimensional cases. One natural approach would be to project the data to the variables occurring in the query. This can, however, change the outcome of the linear program. We introduce the concept of safe sets: projecting the data to a safe set does not change the outcome of the linear program. We characterise safe sets using graph theoretic concepts and give an algorithm for finding minimal safe sets containing given attributes. We describe a heuristic algorithm for finding almost-safe sets given a size restriction, and show empirically that these sets outperform the trivial projection. We also show a connection between safe sets and Markov Random Fields and use it to further reduce the number of variables in the linear program, given some regularity assumptions on the frequent itemsets.

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