AncestryAI: A Tool for Exploring Computationally Inferred Family Trees

Eric Malmi, Marko Rasa, Aristides Gionis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
212 Downloads (Pure)


Many people are excited to discover their ancestors and thus decide to take up genealogy. However, the process of finding the ancestors is often very laborious since it involves comparing a large number of historical birth records and trying to manually match the people mentioned in them. We have developed AncestryAI, an open-source tool for automatically linking historical records and exploring the resulting family trees. We introduce a record-linkage method for computing the probabilities of the candidate matches, which allows the users to either directly identify the next ancestor or narrow down the search. We also propose an efficient layout algorithm for drawing and navigating genealogical graphs. The tool is additionally used to crowdsource training and evaluation data so as to improve the matching algorithm. Our objective is to build a large genealogical graph, which could be used to resolve various interesting questions in the areas of computational social science, genetics, and evolutionary studies. The tool is openly available at:
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication26th International World Wide Web Conference 2017, WWW 2017 Companion
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-4914-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational World Wide Web Conference - Perth, Australia
Duration: 3 Apr 20177 Apr 2017
Conference number: 26


ConferenceInternational World Wide Web Conference
Abbreviated titleWWW


  • family trees
  • genealogy
  • graph drawing
  • probabilistic modeling
  • record linkage


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