Abstract by Romney Noel
A network approach to improving the Family search database
The family search data base contains an enormous amount of genealogical data from over 110 countries. Much of this data was recorded from primary sources and thus is prone to errors such as misspellings and misrecordings. Several attempts have been made to utilize technology to record the data contained in these records however there are still errors that exist because there are errors in the primary sources themselves. A way that these errors manifest themselves is in discrepancies in the spelling of people’s surnames. We focus on correcting these errors by reframing this data as a network. In doing so we are able to use techniques such as community detection in order to make decisions about a given name being spelled correctly or incorrectly. We show that this approach provides a more flexible and more computationally efficient method to improving genealogical records.