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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 530483, 9 pages
Research Article

A New Approach for Resolving Conflicts in Actionable Behavioral Rules

1School of Mathematics and Computer Science, Dali University, Dali 671003, China
2College of Business, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
3State Key Laboratory of Management and Control for Complex Systems, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China

Received 7 April 2014; Accepted 29 April 2014; Published 5 August 2014

Academic Editor: Zheng Xu

Copyright © 2014 Peng Su et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Knowledge is considered actionable if users can take direct actions based on such knowledge to their advantage. Among the most important and distinctive actionable knowledge are actionable behavioral rules that can directly and explicitly suggest specific actions to take to influence (restrain or encourage) the behavior in the users’ best interest. However, in mining such rules, it often occurs that different rules may suggest the same actions with different expected utilities, which we call conflicting rules. To resolve the conflicts, a previous valid method was proposed. However, inconsistency of the measure for rule evaluating may hinder its performance. To overcome this problem, we develop a new method that utilizes rule ranking procedure as the basis for selecting the rule with the highest utility prediction accuracy. More specifically, we propose an integrative measure, which combines the measures of the support and antecedent length, to evaluate the utility prediction accuracies of conflicting rules. We also introduce a tunable weight parameter to allow the flexibility of integration. We conduct several experiments to test our proposed approach and evaluate the sensitivity of the weight parameter. Empirical results indicate that our approach outperforms those from previous research.