Explore the World of Synthetic Data:

Discover its Various Types and Applications


Amin Chirazi, Managing Director at Automators

9 min readJul 24 2023

In the era of data-driven technologies, access to high-quality and diverse datasets is crucial for various applications, including machine learning, AI, and data analytics. We must not forget to mention the area of application testing, which is very demanding on data. However, obtaining real-world data can be challenging due to privacy concerns, limited availability, or high costs for data collection processes. Synthetic data comes to the rescue by offering artificially generated datasets that closely mimic real data while preserving privacy. In this blog post, we will describe three main types of synthetic data created by rule-based generation - Synthetic Text, Synthetic Media and Synthetic Tabular Data - and explore their practical applications across different domains.

Synthetic Text Data


Synthetic text data involves generating text that mimics human-written content. When created by rule-based generation, it involves generating textual content based on predefined rules and constraints. Rule-based generation enables data creators to have precise control over the content and structure of the synthetic text, making it suitable for specific applications and use cases.

Examples of Synthetic Text Data Created by Rule-Based Generation

Template-Based Generation: This involves creating text by filling in placeholders within predefined templates. These templates can include fixed text, variable fields, and conditional statements. For example, rule-based text generation can be used to generate personalized emails or customer support responses based on templates.

Grammar Rules: When creating text, rule-based generation can also be used to enforce grammatical rules and syntax. This ensures that the synthetic text is grammatically correct and adheres to specific language rules.

Rule-Based Sentiment: Rules can be defined to control the sentiment of the generated text. For example, generating text with positive or negative sentiment, or adjusting the tone of the text based on contextual rules.

Language Simplification: Rule-based text generation can simplify complex language which makes it more accessible to specific users. For example, converting technical documents into layman’s terms or creating language which is suitable for children’s educational materials.

Applications of Synthetic Text Data Created by Rule-Based Generation

Chatbot Training: Rule-based synthetic text data is useful for training chatbots and virtual assistants. Chatbot responses can be generated efficiently and with specific intents in mind by defining rules for various user inputs.

Data Augmentation for Text Classification: For text classification tasks, synthetic text data can be generated to enhance training datasets. This can help in improving model performance and generalization.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) Model Evaluation: Rule-based synthetic text data may be used to evaluate and test NLP models under specific scenarios and linguistic structures. It enables researchers to create larger and diverse datasets without the need for extensive human annotation.

Privacy-Preserving Text Analytics: In scenarios where sharing raw text data is restricted due to privacy concerns, synthetic text data can be used for collaboration among researchers and organizations who can share synthetic datasets without revealing confidential information about their customers or clients.

Language Generation for Limited Data: In cases where real-world text data is insufficient or unavailable, synthetic text data can provide a valuable alternative for language generation.

Text Data Generation for Language Translation: synthetic text data can be used in language translation tasks, especially for generating parallel datasets for training machine translation models.

Advantages of Synthetic Text Data Created by Rule-Based Generation

Control and Customization: Rule-based text generation allows for precise control over the content, sentiment, and structure of the synthetic text. It can be customized to meet specific use case requirements.

Privacy and Confidentiality: Rule-based generation can be used for text data anonymization, ensuring that sensitive information is not exposed in synthetic text.

Reproducibility: Rule-based generation ensures the same output is generated consistently based on the predefined rules, which makes it highly reproducible for testing and validation.

In conclusion, synthetic text data created by rule-based generation provides a powerful approach for generating controlled, customized, and privacy-preserving textual content. It finds use in chatbot training, data augmentation for NLP models, language translation, and more while ensuring data privacy and providing control and reproducibility.

Synthetic Media (Image, Video, Sound)


Creating Synthetic Media through rule-based generation is challenging because of the complexity and high-dimensional nature of media data. Unlike text data, which can be generated based on predefined templates and linguistic rules, media data typically requires advanced techniques like generative models to produce realistic content. However, there are some limited scenarios where rule-based generation can be applied to certain aspects of synthetic media data.

Applications of Rule-Based Synthetic Media Data

Icon and Logo Design: Rule-based synthetic media data can be useful for generating simple icons and logos for applications, websites, or branding purposes. This approach is particularly relevant for scenarios where real-world data or complex generative models are not required.

Placeholder Images and Video Clips: Rule-based generation can be used to generate placeholder images or video clips with specific dimensions and patterns. These placeholders can be utilized during application development or content creation.

Abstract Artwork for Visualization: Rule-based synthetic media data can generate abstract art images that might be useful for data visualization, creative projects, or as placeholders in design applications.

Sound Effects: It is possible to create basic sound effects with rule-based generated data, such as simple beeps, tones, or short musical sequences, for multimedia applications or video games.

It is essential to note that while rule-based generation can offer some controlled creativity in specific scenarios, the generated media is likely to lack the complexity, realism, and richness that can be achieved through more advanced generative models like GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks) and VAEs (Variational Autoencoders) which learn from real data and generate media that closely mimics the patterns and structures observed in the training dataset. Such synthetic media data has a wide range of applications, including computer vision, entertainment, and virtual reality.

Synthetic Tabular Data


Synthetic tabular data involves generating structured datasets with rows and columns, mimicking real-world data distributions. Synthetic tabular data created with rule-based generation involves generating data based on predefined rules and constraints. These rules dictate the relationships between the attributes and their values in the synthetic dataset, allowing for more controlled data generation. Synthetic data generators are used for gathering such data.

Rule-Based Generation for Synthetic Tabular Data

Rule Specification: In rule-based generation, data creators define specific rules that control the generation of synthetic tabular data. These rules can be based on mathematical functions, logical expressions, or domain knowledge about the data’s characteristics.

Data Constraints: Data constraints are critical elements of rule-based generation. Constraints define the limits and conditions under which data can be generated. For example, constraints may include ranges for numerical attributes, categorical restrictions, or dependencies between different columns.

Domain-Specific Rules: Rule-based generation can be customized to meet domain-specific requirements. For instance, in financial data generation, rules might be designed to reflect transaction patterns, balance distributions, or risk profiles.

Applications of Rule-Based Synthetic Tabular Data

Data Quality Assessment: Rule-based synthetic tabular data is useful for evaluating the quality and validity of data pipelines, ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes, and data analysis workflows. Data engineers and analysts can identify and troubleshoot issues in their data workflows by creating synthetic datasets with known properties.

Scenario Testing and Sensitivity Analysis: Researchers can manipulate the rules to simulate various scenarios, enabling them to understand how changes in data affect model outputs or business decisions.

Secure Data Sharing: When sharing data with external parties or collaborating on research projects, organizations often need to protect sensitive information. Rule-based synthetic tabular data provides a privacy-preserving solution, as the data generated adheres to specified rules without revealing real data.

Compliance Testing: For industries with strict regulations, such as healthcare or finance, compliance testing is crucial. Synthetic tabular data can help organizations ensure that their data processing practices meet regulatory standards while preserving data utility.

Functional Testing: Rule-based synthetic tabular data is a powerful tool in functional testing, offering controlled and reproducible test scenarios. Functional testing becomes more systematic, comprehensive, and efficient because synthetic data enables testers to validate the application’s behavior under different scenarios, boundary conditions, and edge cases.

Advantages of Rule-Based Synthetic Tabular Data

Controlled Data Generation: Rule-based generation allows data creators to have full control over the synthetic data’s characteristics. By defining specific rules and constraints, they can ensure that the generated data aligns with the desired use case.

Reproducibility: Because rule-based synthetic data is generated based on predetermined rules, it is highly reproducible. The same synthetic dataset can be regenerated multiple times as long as the rules remain consistent, which enables better testing and validation of models.

Reduced Bias: Rule-based generation can help to eliminate bias in synthetic data. By carefully designing the rules, data creators can avoid introducing biases that may exist in real-world datasets, which leads to more fair and equitable data samples.

In conclusion, rule-based synthetic tabular data offers a valuable approach to data generation since it provides control, reproducibility, and privacy protection. It is especially useful for data quality assessment, scenario testing, and secure data sharing. By using rule-based techniques, data creators can tailor synthetic datasets to specific use cases, ensuring they correspond with desired data characteristics and domain requirements.

While rule-based generation is a powerful tool, it is essential to consider the complexity of rules and the level of generalization required for the intended application. By continually improving and expanding rule-based approaches, we can unlock the full potential of synthetic tabular data and continue driving advancements in various domains that rely on high-quality and diverse datasets.

Final Thoughts


Synthetic data has evolved as a powerful tool in various sectors, offering versatile applications and solutions to challenges related to data privacy, scarcity, and diversity. Synthetic Text, Media, and Tabular Data offer interesting options for model training, data augmentation, privacy preservation, and testing across domains like natural language processing, computer vision, augmented reality, and more.

As advancements in AI and machine learning continue, synthetic data will certainly play an increasingly pivotal role in transforming how we generate, share, and utilize data to drive innovation in the digital age. Embracing synthetic data as a valuable resource allows organizations to explore and harness the power of data while maintaining privacy and security.

As we move forward, it is important to continue research and development in synthetic data generation techniques to make them more accurate, diverse, and representative of real-world scenarios. By doing so, we can unlock the full potential of synthetic data and accelerate progress in various industries, from healthcare and finance to entertainment and beyond.

See how DataMaker works and what our
Managing Director has to say about it!