Chapter 11. Microsoft Association Rules

Beep ... beep ... Good afternoon, sir. Did you find everything you need? ... beep ... beep ... bacon, eggs ... beep ... coffee, sugar ... beep ... milk, cookies ... ketchup, mustard, hot dogs ... beep ... cake mix ... Did you forget the frosting? I thought so! Service to aisle nine, could you bring over a can of frosting? ... Would you like any help out today, sir?

Every purchase a customer makes builds patterns about how products are purchased together. You can use these patterns to learn more about your customers' shopping behaviors in order to optimize product layout and cross-promote the right products to the right customers.

You can find these patterns (called market basket analysis) by using the Microsoft Association Rules algorithm, as described in this chapter.

In this chapter, you will learn about the following:

  • How to use the Microsoft Association Rules algorithm

  • How to create Microsoft Association Rules models using DMX

  • How to interpret Microsoft Association Rules mining models

  • The principles of the Microsoft Association Rules algorithm

  • How to tune the algorithm by using parameters

You can find examples, datasets, and projects for this chapter in its downloadable companion,, which is available on the book's website ( The archive contains the following:

  • A SQL Server 2008 database backup containing the data sets used in this chapter

  • A file containing the DMX scripts for this chapter

  • An Analysis ...

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