Document Type


Publication Date



Discovering contrasts between collections of data is an important task in data mining. In this paper, we introduce a new type of contrast pattern, called a Minimal Distinguishing Subsequence (MDS). An MDS is a minimal subsequence that occurs frequently in one class of sequences and infrequently in sequences of another class. It is a natural way of representing strong and succinct contrast information between two sequential datasets and can be useful in applications such as protein comparison, document comparison and building sequential classification models. Mining MDS patterns is a challenging task and is significantly different from mining contrasts between relational/transactional data. One particularly important type of constraint that can be integrated into the mining process is the gap constraint. We present an efficient algorithm called ConSGapMiner(Contrast Sequences with Gap Miner), to mine all MDSs satisfying a minimum and maximum gap constraint, plus a maximum length constraint. It employs highly efficient bitset and boolean operations, for powerful gap-based pruning within a prefix growth framework. A performance evaluation with both sparse and dense datasets, demonstrates the scalability of ConSGapMiner and shows its ability to mine patterns from high dimensional datasets at low supports.


The attached PDF document is the unpublished, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final version of this article can be found at