2.1 Data Objects and Attribute Types
Data sets are made up of data objects. A data object represents an entity—in a sales database, the objects may be customers, store items, and sales; in a medical database, the objects may be patients; in a university database, the objects may be students, professors, and courses. Data objects are typically described by attributes. Data objects can also be referred to as samples, examples, instances, data points, or objects. If the data objects are stored in a database, they are data tuples. That is, the rows of a database correspond to the data objects, and the columns correspond to the attributes. In this section, we define attributes and look at the various attribute types.