Experiment databases

J. Vanschoren, H. Blockeel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Next to running machine learning algorithms based on inductive queries, much can be learned by immediately querying the combined results of many prior studies. Indeed, all around the globe, thousands of machine learning experiments are being executed on a daily basis, generating a constant stream of empirical information on machine learning techniques. While the information contained in these experiments might have many uses beyond their original intent, results are typically described very concisely in papers and discarded afterwards. If we properly store and organize these results in central databases, they can be immediately reused for further analysis, thus boosting future research. In this chapter, we propose the use of experiment databases: databases designed to collect all the necessary details of these experiments, and to intelligently organize them in online repositories to enable fast and thorough analysis of a myriad of collected results. They constitute an additional, queriable source of empirical meta-data based on principled descriptions of algorithm executions, without reimplementing the algorithms in an inductive database. As such, they engender a very dynamic, collaborative approach to experimentation, in which experiments can be freely shared, linked together, and immediately reused by researchers all over the world. They can be set up for personal use, to share results within a lab or to create open, community-wide repositories. Here, we provide a high-level overview of their design, and use an existing experiment database to answer various interesting research questions about machine learning algorithms and to verify a number of recent studies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInductive databases and constraint-based data mining
EditorsSaso Dzeroski, Bart Goethals, Pance Panov
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4419-7738-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-4419-7737-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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