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2009 Face-to-Face RPUG Meeting San Diego, California June 17, 2009. Link Plus Version 3 Update. David Gu ( ), CDC/NPCR Contractor Kathleen Thoburn ( ), CDC/NPCR Contractor Joe Rogers ( ), CDC. Division of Cancer Prevention and Control

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Link plus version 3 update

2009 Face-to-Face RPUG MeetingSan Diego, CaliforniaJune 17, 2009

Link Plus Version 3 Update

David Gu (, CDC/NPCR Contractor

Kathleen Thoburn (, CDC/NPCR Contractor

Joe Rogers (, CDC

Division of Cancer Prevention and Control

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Coordinating Center for Health Promotion

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Atlanta, Georgia

Link plus software
Link Plus Software

  • Stand-alone probabilistic record linkage program

  • Combines ease of use and statistical sophistication

  • Detects duplicates within a data file, or links two data files together

  • Supports fixed width files, delimited files, and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries files

  • Provides powerful support for manual review of uncertain matches

Link plus v3 enhancements
Link Plus V3 Enhancements

  • Removes size limitation on File 2 (4.5-4.8 million record limitation File 1)

  • Users can choose whether to write all potential matches or only matches with the highest score to the linkage report

  • Accepts various date formats for date comparison

  • Accepts quoted field values from delimited files

  • “Confirmation-like” method for address variables that contributes positively to linkage score with agreement but 0 weight with disagreement

Link plus v3 enhancements1
Link Plus V3 Enhancements

  • Provides SSN-like matching method for generic ID

  • Incorporates phonetic code into name matching methods

  • New name matching method that is more robust against outlier or misspelled names (more robust linkage score; eventually enable determination of cutoff value automatically for production mode)

  • Name matching methods for multiple names

  • Users can provide their own name frequency files for use by name matching methods

Link plus v3 enhancements2
Link Plus V3 Enhancements

Manual Review

  • Can automatically assign non-match status to the current view based on previous non-match results

  • Option that allows users to assign match status by scores without overwriting the existing match status


  • Users can export the results of manual review to a NAACR format file

  • Users can save the settings and layouts of exporting

Link plus future development
Link Plus Future Development

  • Allow CRS Plus users to select additional variables for manual review and export

  • Develop API; enable call from other software

  • Develop additional feature to enable use in production mode; including pre-analysis for selection of most effective cut-off

  • Write papers (including research on record linkage methods)

Cdc npcr link plus contacts
CDC–NPCR Link Plus Contacts

Kathleen K. Thoburn, CDC/NPCR Contractor


David Gu, CDC/NPCR Contractor


Tom Rawson, CDC Computer Programmer

Thank you
Thank you

The findings and conclusions in this presentation are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

David Gu