Chapter 13

Dealing in Graphic Detail

In This Chapter

arrow Using familiar graphs in familiar ways

arrow Using familiar graphs in unfamiliar ways

arrow Adding new graphs to your bag of tricks

You may be new to data mining, but you already know some important tools of the trade. Graphs like bar charts, histograms, and scatterplots are important data-mining tools. Data miners use these conventional graphs in conventional ways, and in unconventional ways, too! And now that you’re a data miner, you can expand your repertoire with special graphs that help you pack more information on a page (without losing main ideas), spot common patterns, or evaluate predictive models.

This chapter introduces you to the data miner’s arsenal of graphs and graphing tools. You’ll find that graphs are one of the easiest ways to get started in data mining, especially since data miners often use the sorts of graphs (or variations of those graphs) you’ve probably already used elsewhere.

Starting Simple

All data miners use graphs, and all data-mining applications offer some graphics capability. Some data-mining applications offer only graphs that you might remember from your elementary school days, like bar charts and scatterplots. ...

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