The OYSTER Open Source Project is sponsored by the Center for Advanced Research in Entity Resolution and Information Quality (ERIQ) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. It is intended to provide an entity resolution system that includes functionality for entity identity information management (EIIM). Originally developed as a teaching tool, it now has enough capability to support record linking, EIIM, and master data management (MDM) processes in small to medium-sized organizations.
OYSTER is designed to be easily configurable through the use of several, run-time XML scripts that define such things as the format and locations of reference sources to be processed, access to previously defined identity structures, identity rules and associated matching algorithms, as well as many parameters that adjust system performance to particular ER applications. These scripts allow OYSTER to be configured to run in different ER modes or architectures including record linking/merge-purge, identity resolution, identity capture, and identity update.
OYSTER was first introduced in the textbook Entity Resolution and Information Quality by Dr. John R. Talburt (Morgan Kaufmann, 2011). Dr. Talburt, a Professor of Information Science and Director of the ERIQ Research Center at UALR, is the OYSTER Project director. A number of ERIQ staff members and student research assistants have made significant contribution to the project including Eric Nelson, Fumiko Kobayashi, Yinle Zhou, Gregg Webster, Brenda Barnhill, Payam Mahmoudian, Nathan Gray, Huan He, Melody Penning, and Hailin Tang. Much of the initial development of OYSTER was supported by the Arkansas Research Center (ARC) of the Arkansas Department of Education directed by Dr. Neal Gibson and its Research and Development Director, Dr. Greg Holland.