Entity resolution and identity resolution are terms related to record linking, data matching, and deduplication. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle, but important, difference in meaning. The difference revolves around the use of the words “entity” and “identity”. Entity resolution is the process of probabilistically identifying something real based on a set of possibly ambiguous clues.
Humans have been resolving entities throughout history. The first humans observed the footprints and tried to match that clue with that of the animals that had left them. Later, people with specialized knowledge in this field observed the shape of a whale's beak to determine if the particular whale belonged to the type of whale suitable for hunting. During World War II, English analysts learned to identify individual German radio operators based solely on that operator's “fist”, the timing and style the operator used to type in Morse code. Identity resolution is a special type of entity resolution that specializes in identity management.
The OYSTER system's resolution engine is basically an implementation of the R-Swoosh algorithm described in chapter 3 with the addition of an identity management system. Entity resolution consists of determining when references to entities in the real world are equivalent (they refer to the same entity) or not (they refer to different entities). If resolved to an identity, the identifier of that reference will be associated with the identity resolved in the link index. Identity resolution is riddled with debates about the best ways to respect a user's privacy and, at the same time, offer personalized information. In theory, each reference will have an entity identifier because it will match an existing identity or create a new identity.
While identity resolution is primarily used to detect identity theft and fraud, it is also used in large database solutions for customer data integration (CDI) and master data management (MDM).In an entity resolution context, the definition of entity is defined more narrowly than its general use. Identity resolution can be considered the modern version of matching the records of potential and potential customers within a business database. While the MPI itself undergoes identity resolution, it comes from data sources where the entity's resolution is required; social security numbers cannot be used in all data sources. These references can be easily classified into different groups (entity resolution), but the email itself provides us with the identity of the visitor. Assuming that the identifier of one of the identities is preserved for the merged identity, it is possible to find the references that were resolved for other identities and review the link values (entity identifiers) that were previously assigned to them.
Since matching is not just about matching unknown identities with known identities, the process used to develop and maintain an MPI is an entity resolution process, not just an identity resolution process. Entity resolution is used to maintain a strong supply chain by consolidating supplier data into data silos spread across multiple business units, regions, geographies, and categories of parts and materials. Entity resolution is the process of determining if two entity references are for the same entity or for different entities. The value of the XML attribute “Capture” tells the system if the reference source can be used to create and update identities.