GUHA - basic information


1. GUHA (General Unary Hypotheses Automaton) is a method of automatic generation of hypotheses based on empirical data, thus a method of data mining.
GUHA is one of the oldest methods of data mining (the first papers appeared in mid-sixties) and still develops. It is a kind of automated exploratory data analysis: it generates systematically hypotheses supported by the data.

2. GUHA is primary suitable for exploratory analysis of large data.
The processed data form a rectangle matrix, where rows corresponds to objects belonging to the sample and each column correspond to one investigated variable. A typical data matrix processed by GUHA has hundreds or thousands of rows and tens of columns.
Exploratory analysis means that there is no single specific hypothesis that should be tested by our data; rather, our aim is to get orientation in the domain of investigation, analyze the behaviour of chosen variables, interactions among them etc. Such inquiry is not blind but directed by some general (possibly vague) direction of research (some general problem).

3. GUHA systematicaly creates all hypotheses interesting from the point of view of a given general problem and on the base of given data.
This is the main principle: "all interesting hypotheses'' Clearly, this contains a dilemma: "all'' means most possible, "only interesting'' means "not too many''. To cope with this dilemma, one may use different GUHA procedures and, having selected one, by fixing in various ways its numerous parameters. (The program leads the user and makes the selection of parameters easy.)

Three remarks:

4. The GUHA procedure ASSOC generates statements on association between complex boolean attributes (properties). These attributes are constructed from the variables corresponding to the columns of the data matrix.
Each such variable endowed with a (finite) set of categories, each category being by a subset of the range of the variable. A literal has the form VAR:CAT where VAR is a variable and CAT one of its categories (e.g. TEMPERATURE:(>38) etc.) A hypothesis (or better: an observational statement) has the form ( is associated with ) where attributes , are built from literals using boolean connectives , , (conjunction, disjunction, negation) Typically only some boolean attributes are allowed, e.g. only conjunctions of finitely many literals, containing each variable at most once, e.g.


5. Given the data, each pair of boolean attributes , determines its four-fold frequency table; the association of with is defined by choosing an associational quantifier i.e. a function assigning to each four-fold table either 1 (associated) or 0 (not associated) and satisfying some natural monotonicity conditions. The formula is true in the data iff the function defining gives 1 to the four-fold table (a,b,c,d) given by ,

The four-fold table has the form:

where a=Fr() -- the number of objects in the data satisfying both and ; b=Fr() (satisfying but not satisfying ), similarly
c=Fr(), d=Fr(); r, s, k, l are marginals, i.e. r=a+b, r=c+d, b=a+c, l=b+d and in is the cardinality of the set of objects (the number of rows of the data matrix, m=a+b+c+d).
Association means, roughly, that there are enough coincidences (a, d are big enough) and not too many differences (b, c are not too big).
Thus a quantifier q(a, b, c, d) is associational if q(a, b, c, d)=1 and a' a, b' b, c' c, d' d imply q(a', b', c', d')=1.

6. There are various types of associational quantifiers, formalizing various kind of associations; among them implicational quantifiers formalize the association "many are ''. Comparative quantifiers formalize the association " makes more likely (than does).'' Some quantifiers just express observations on the data, some others serve as tests of statistical hypotheses on unknown probabilities.

We give you examples:

founded p-implication: FIMPLp,B(a, b, c, d)=1 iff a B and a/(a+b) p

(test of with significance alpha)

simple comparison: SIMPLE(a, b, c, d)=1 iff ad > bc
Fisher test: iff ad > bc and

(test ofwith significance alpha)

All quantifiers are associational; the implicational ones do not depend on c, d the comparative ones are symmetricimplies and admit negation implies ). Various other quantifiers are used.
Remark: The association rules as defined in various papers dealing with data mining are closely related to formula where is FIMPL.

7. The input for the GUHA procedure ASSOC (like for other possible GUHA procedures) consists of (1) the data matrix and (2) parameters determining symbolic restriction to the pairs ,of boolean attributes (antecedent -- succedent) to be generated, the quantifier to be used and a few other things.
In particular, one has to declare variables that can occur in the antecedent and the succedent, minimal and maximal length of antecedent/succedent (number of literals occurring), the kind and parameters of the quantifier used, kind of processing of missing data (if any; three possibilities) etc.

8. The core program produces all associations satisfying the syntactic restrictions and true in the data.
The generation is not done blindly but uses various techniques serving to avoid exhaustive search. The found associations together with various parameters are not mechanically printed but saved in a solution file for further processing.

9. The program for interpretation of results enables the user to browse the associations format, sort them according to various criteria, select reasonably defined subsets and output concise information of various kinds.

10. There is a running PC-implementation under DOS (PC-GUHA), some few years old and now becoming old-fashioned; the full program and manual are freely available. Besides, we are developing a new implementation GUHA+- under Windows; a beta version exists and is (was) demonstrated at PKDD'99.
The new implementation is a work of a group of students of the Faculty of Mathematics and physics, Charles University (who worked under the guidance of Dr. A. Sochorova and is being further developed at the institute of Computer Science of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. We mention in passing another implementation developed at the Prague University of Economics under the name 4FT-Miner.

11. The method has sufficiently deep logical and statistical foundations, continuously developed further
The oldest paper in english is [1]; it contains already the FIMPL quantifier and explicit formulation of the basic principle. The monograph [4] which is the basic theoretical reference, presents generated logical systems both for observational statements (on data) and for probabilistic statements, theorems on their logical properties, principles of statistical inference, various techniques for handling missing information etc. For selected publications concerning theory and implementation see [1-14] other publications see the bibliography.

12. There have been several application described in the literature; but still the method has remained rather unknown. It is hoped that the data mining community will soon recognize GUHA as one of the oldest data mining methods and will enrich its foundations by the theory of GUHA -- like systems.
For selected recent papers referring on applications of GUHA see [15 - 20]


[1] Hájek P., Havel, Chytil M.: The GUHA method of automatic hypotheses determination, Computing 1 (1966) 293--308.

[2] Hávranek T.: The statistical modification and interpretation of GUHA method, Kybernetika 7 (1971) 13--21.

[3] Hájek P., Bendová K., Renc Z.: The GUHA method and three-valued logic, Kybernetika 7 (1971) 421--431.
- processing missing information

[4] Hájek P., Havránek T.: Mechanizing Hypothesis Formation (Mathematical Foundations for a General Theory, Springer--Verlag 1978, 396 pp.

[5] Hájek P., Havránek T.: The GUHA method - its aims and techniques, Int. J. Man-Machine Studies 10 (1977) 3-22.

[6] Hájek P., Havránek T., Chytil M.: Metoda GUHA (in Czech), Academia Prague, 1983, 314 pp.

[7] Hájek P.: The new version of the GUHA procedure ASSOC, COMPSTAT 1984, 360--365.

[8] Hájek P., Sochorová A., Zvárová J.: GUHA for personal computers, Comp. Stat., Data Arch. 19, 149--153.

[9] Holeňa M.: Exploratory data processing using a fuzzy generalization of the GUHA approach. In Fuzzy Logic, J. Baldwin, Ed. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1996, pp. 213--229.

[10] Rauch J.: Logical Calculi for Knowledge Discovery in Databases, Principles of Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery. Red. Komorowski, J. Zytkow, J. Berlin, Springer Verlag 1997, p. 47 - 57.

[11] Hájek P., Holena M.: Formal logics of discovery and hypothesis formation by machine. In Discovery Science. Red. Arikava, S. and Motoda, eds.), Springer Verlag 1998, Berlin, pp. 291-302.

[12] Rauch J.: Four-Fold Table Calculi for Discovery Science. ibid. pp.405-406

[13] Harmancová D., Holena M., and Sochorová A.: Overview of the GUHA method for automating knowledge discovery in statistical data sets. In Procedings of {KESDA'98} -- International Conference on Knowledge Extraction from Statistical Data (1998) M. Noirhomme-Fraiture, Ed., pp. 39--52.

[14] Holena M.: Fuzzy hypotheses for GUHA implications. Fuzzy Sets and Systems 98 (1998), 101--125.

[15] Hálová J., Zák P., Strouf O.: QSAR of Catechol Analogs Against Malignant Melanoma by PC-GUHA and CATALYSTTMsoftware systems, poster, VIII. Congress IUPAC, Geneve (Switzerland) 1997. Chimia 51 (1997), 532.

[16] Hálová J., Strouf O., Zák P., Sochorová A., Uchida N., Yuzuvi T., Sakakibava K., Hirota M.: QSAR of Catechol Analogs Against Malignant Melanoma using fingerprint descriptors, Quant. Struct.-Act. Relat. 17 (1998), 37--39.

[17] Kausitz J., Kulliffay P., Puterová B., and Pecen L.: Prognostic meaning of cystolic concentrations of ER, PS2, Cath-D, TPS, TK and cAMP in primary breast carcinomas for patient risk estimation and therapy selection. To appear in International Journal of Human Tumor Markers.

[18] Pecen L., and Eben K.: Non-linear mathematical interpretation of the oncological data. Neural Network World, 6:683--690, 1996.

[19] Pecen L., Pelikán E., Beran H., and Pivka D.: Short-term fx market analysis and prediction. In Neural Networks in Financial Engeneering (1996), pp.189-196.

[20] Pecen L., Ramesová N., Pelikán E., and Beran H.: Application of the GUHA method on financial data. Neural Network World 5 (1995), 565--571.

Contact addresses:
D. Coufal, P. Hájek
Institute of Computer Science
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Pod vodarenskou vezi 2
182 07 Prague 8, Czech Republic
e-mail: <coufal,hajek>