Entity Resolution is the process by which a dataset is processed and records are identified that represent the same real-world entity.
OYSTER (Open sYSTem Entity Resolution) is an entity resolution system that supports probabilistic direct matching, transitive linking, and asserted linking. To facilitate prospecting for match candidates (blocking), the system builds and maintains an in-memory index of attribute values to identities. Because OYSTER has an identity management system, it also supports persistent identity identifiers. OYSTER is unique among other ER systems in that it is built to incorporate Entity Identity Information Management (EIIM). OYSTER supports EIIM by providing methods that enforce identifiers to be unique among identities, maintain persistent IDs over the life of an identity, and allowing the ability to fix false-positive and false-negative resolutions, which cannot be done with matching rules, through the use of assertion, traceability, and other features.
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OYSTER has been critical to our enterprise-wide data warehouse at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. We have also used it for detecting and resolving duplicate addresses and participant ids in the National Children's Study.