Date of Award

8-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Industrial Engineering

Advisor

Dabhade, Indraneel C

Committee Member

Kurz , Mary Beth

Committee Member

Gramopadhye , Anand

Committee Member

Shappell , Scott

Abstract

In the fields of finance, engineering and varied sciences, Data Mining/ Machine Learning has held an eminent position in predictive analysis. Complex algorithms and adaptive decision models have contributed towards streamlining directed research as well as improve on the accuracies in forecasting. Researchers in the fields of mathematics and computer science have made significant contributions towards the development of this field. Classification based modeling, which holds a significant position amongst the different rule-based algorithms, is one of the most widely used decision making tools. The decision tree has a place of profound significance in classification-based modeling. A number of heuristics have been developed over the years to prune the decision making process. Some key benchmarks in the evolution of the decision tree could to attributed to the researchers like Quinlan (ID3 and C4.5), Fayyad (GID3/3*, continuous value discretization), etc. The most common heuristic applied for these trees is the entropy discussed under information theory by Shannon. The current application with entropy covered under the term `Information Gain' is directed towards individual assessment of the attribute-value sets. The proposed study takes a look at the effects of combining the attribute-value sets, aimed at improving the information gain. Couple of key applications have been tested and presented with statistical conclusions. The first being the application towards the feature selection process, a key step in the data mining process, while the second application is targeted towards the discretization of data. A search-based heuristic tool is applied towards identifying the subsets sharing a better gain value than the ones presented in the GID approach.

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