Knowledge representation and discovery based on linguistic atoms

Deyi Li, Jiawei Han, Xuemei Shi, Man Chung Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An important issue in knowledge discovery in databases (KDD) is to allow the discovered knowledge to be as close as possible to natural languages to satisfy user needs with tractability on one hand, and to offer KDD systems robustness on the other. At this junction, this paper describes a new concept of linguistic atoms with three digital characteristics: expected value Ex, entropy En, and deviation D. The mathematical description has effectively integrated the fuzziness and randomness of linguistic terms in a unified way. Based on this model, a method of knowledge representation in KDD is developed which bridges the gap between quantitative and qualitative knowledge. Mapping between quantities and qualities becomes much easier and interchangeable. In order to discover generalized knowledge from a database, we may use virtual linguistic terms and cloud transforms for the auto-generation of concept hierarchies to attributes. Predictive data mining with the cloud model is given for implementation. This further illustrates the advantages of this linguistic model in KDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-440
Number of pages10
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Compatibility cloud
  • Linguistic atom
  • Qualitative representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Software
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Artificial Intelligence


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