Development and evaluation of a continuous-time Markov chain model for detecting and handling data currency declines

Yuval Zak, Adir Even

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Data currency declines, caused by recorded data values becoming outdated, can damage the usability and accountability of data resources. Detecting and updating outdated values may improve data currency and reduce the associated damage, but such efforts may be costly and cannot always be justified. This study models currency decline scenarios using a continuous-time Markov chain stochastic process with a finite number of states, each reflecting a valid data value. The model considers state transition probabilities, transition time distributions, and the tradeoff between the damage associated with outdated data and the cost of reacquisition. The proposed formulation permits the currency level to be estimated without having to rely on a baseline for comparison, as well as the prediction of future currency declines, assessment of their accumulated damage, and optimization of the timing of cost-effective data auditing and reacquisition. The study introduces a comprehensive evaluation of the proposed model, using a large real-world dataset relating to the handling of insurance claims over multiple time periods. The evaluation results highlight the applicability of the model, and its potential contribution to proactive data quality management and cost-effective handling of currency declines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-93
Number of pages12
JournalDecision Support Systems
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Continuous-time Markov chain
  • Data currency
  • Data quality management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


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