Chapter 1. Expanding Your Data Mining Toolbox

When faced with sensory information, human beings naturally want to find patterns to explain, differentiate, categorize, and predict. This process of looking for patterns all around us is a fundamental human activity, and the human brain is quite good at it. With this skill, our ancient ancestors became better at hunting, gathering, cooking, and organizing. It is no wonder that pattern recognition and pattern prediction were some of the first tasks humans set out to computerize, and this desire continues in earnest today. Depending on the goals of a given project, finding patterns in data using computers nowadays involves database systems, artificial intelligence, statistics, information retrieval, ...

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