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DM: RE: Research based on restricted-access data.

From: osborn
Date: Wed Nov 17 21:41:44 1999

This isn't all that unusual. A related issue involves confidential
record, which I've done some modelling from. Government
regulations require a suitably qualified person to intervene
ot make data anonymous and not traceable back to individuals
(or even specific groups) - eg in superannuation funds 
customer data. The qualified person I'm most familiar with
is qualified both as a lawyer and an actuary, and has database

The end result is a database extract to model and validate from.
That extract may well not cover all the exploratory work (which
was done with privacy assurance), but is suitably anonymous
for a third party to determine validity of conclusions, or support
publication (which Richard would like). I've published where the
client's name has been withheld, for example.

However, if the client wishes any or all information withheld, that's
their right. They paid for the work. Some clients don't even
want it known they're even thinking about 'new fangled methods",
although they use the results. There are many reasons why.
Some reasons are even rational...

If you don't sign away IP of the data mining methods and 
refinements, you should be able to demonstrate with a
different, but similar (by information structure) dataset...

Dr Tom Osborn
Director of Modelling
Level 7, 1 York Street
phone:	+61 2 9252 0600
fax:	+61 2 9251 9894

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Richard Dybowski []
> Sent:	Wednesday, 17 November 1999 8:00
> To:
> Subject:	DM: Research based on restricted-access data.
> Most of the research done by the DM community involves real-world 
> databases, but there is a problem for researchers involved with 
> restricted-access data.
> Suppose that the owner of a database (not me) has invested a large
> amount 
> of money to build it, and s/he, therefore, wants to maintain control
> of how 

> the database is used. In particular, s/he does not want the world to
> have 
> unrestricted access to it. This creates a problem for me, for if I
> publish 
> a paper based on this database, and am asked by people in the research
> community for copies of the database in order for them to verify my 
> published results, I will have to refuse. But this refusal would place
> me 
> in a very embarrassing position, and it could considerably reduce the
> value 
> of my research.
> This is not a hypothetical scenario. I have been presented with the 
> opportunity to analyze such a database; therefore, I would welcome any
> suggestions from those who have been confronted with a similar
> situation.
> Regards
> Richard
> -------------------------------
> Richard Dybowski PhD
> Research Fellow (Knowledge & Data Engineering)
> King's College London
> Medical Informatics Laboratory (Department of Medicine)
> 4th Floor
> North Wing
> St Thomas' Hospital
> Lambeth Palace Road
> London SE1 7EH
> UK
> Tel (office): (0)20 7928 9292 extension 6429
> Tel (mobile): 0976 250092
> Fax: +44 (0)20 7928 4458
> E-mail:
> Web site:
> {Note: Currently using e-mail address whilst
> link to 
> Internet is being established in my new office at St Thomas' Hospital}

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