Interactive Data Exploration with Smart Drill-Down

Proc Int Conf Data Eng. 2016 May;2016:906-917. doi: 10.1109/ICDE.2016.7498300. Epub 2016 Jun 23.


We present smart drill-down, an operator for interactively exploring a relational table to discover and summarize "interesting" groups of tuples. Each group of tuples is described by a rule. For instance, the rule (a, b, ⋆, 1000) tells us that there are a thousand tuples with value a in the first column and b in the second column (and any value in the third column). Smart drill-down presents an analyst with a list of rules that together describe interesting aspects of the table. The analyst can tailor the definition of interesting, and can interactively apply smart drill-down on an existing rule to explore that part of the table. We demonstrate that the underlying optimization problems are NP-Hard, and describe an algorithm for finding the approximately optimal list of rules to display when the user uses a smart drill-down, and a dynamic sampling scheme for efficiently interacting with large tables. Finally, we perform experiments on real datasets on our experimental prototype to demonstrate the usefulness of smart drill-down and study the performance of our algorithms.