New Generation Computing

, 27:319 | Cite as

Constrained Motif Discovery in Time Series

  • Yasser MohammadEmail author
  • Toyoaki Nishida


The goal of motif discovery algorithms is to efficiently find unknown recurring patterns. In this paper, we focus on motif discovery in time series. Most available algorithms cannot utilize domain knowledge in any way which results in quadratic or at least super-linear time and space complexity. In this paper we define the Constrained Motif Discovery problem which enables utilization of domain knowledge into the motif discovery process. The paper then provides two algorithms called MCFull and MCInc for efficiently solving the constrained motif discovery problem. We also show that most unconstrained motif discovery problems be converted into constrained ones using a change-point detection algorithm. A novel change-point detection algorithm called the Robust Singular Spectrum Transform (RSST) is then introduced and compared to traditional Singular Spectrum Transform using synthetic and real-world data sets. The results show that RSST achieves higher specificity and is more adequate for finding constraints to convert unconstrained motif discovery problems to constrained ones that can be solved using MCFull and MCInc. We then compare the combination of RSST and MCFull or MCInc with two state-of-the-art motif discovery algorithms on a large set of synthetic time series. The results show that the proposed algorithms provided four to ten folds increase in speed compared the unconstrained motif discovery algorithms studied without any loss of accuracy. RSST+MCFull is then used in a real world human-robot interaction experiment to enable the robot to learn free hand gestures, actions, and their associations by watching humans and other robots interacting.


Constrained Motif Discovery in Time Series Change-Point Detection Robust Singular Spectrum Transform Mining Human Physiological Data Human-Robot Interaction 


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Copyright information

© Ohmsha and Springer Japan jointly hold copyright of the journal. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of InformaticsKyoto UniversitySakyo-ku, KyotoJapan

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