Chapter 17

Mining Data for Clues

In This Chapter

arrow Finding associations

arrow Using a tabbed graphical user interface

arrow Comprehending association rule metrics

You might know the saying, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

What does it mean? The literal meaning is just what it says. When you see smoke, that’s a sign of fire. It’s a warning, a clue. You know it doesn’t mean that smoke causes fire. And you know it doesn’t mean that smoke can’t exist without fire. Smoke is a strong indicator of fire, not a cause and not perfect proof.

This smoke-and-fire idea is so significant that people sometimes use the same expression to refer to things that have nothing to do with either one. Often when someone says, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” she means, “This is an important clue.”

If you see dark clouds and feel a swift breeze on a summer afternoon, you may suspect that it will rain and choose to carry an umbrella. If you look into a car and notice a baby seat and a diaper bag, you may assume that the owner is a good prospect for your babysitting service, and leave a flyer on the windshield. You look for and use these clues, or associations, in day-to-day life to help you make good decisions. ...

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