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Mining Functions and Algorithms
I believe the States can best govern our home concerns,
and the General Government our foreign ones.
—Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 1823
Just as federal and state governments serve their separate functions,
mining functions and mining algorithms play distinct roles. Mining
functions provide the ability to specify what is to be done, providing
a high level of interoperability and commonality among vendors.
Mining algorithms provide the ability to specify how it should be
done, often with vendor-specific features. Algorithms allow users to
tailor data mining results, and allow vendors to expose details of
their algorithms supporting a given function.
Java Data Mining (JDM) separates the notion of mining function
from mining algorithm to simplify the specification of model build-
ing. Vendors are able to automate the selection of which algorithm
would work best on the provided data. This helps novices at data
mining obtain good results without knowing details of the underly-
ing algorithms. Yet, data mining experts are able to control which
algorithm is used and tune specific parameters.
Once we appreciate the type of industry problems that data mining
can solve, as discussed in Chapter 2, and the overall data mining pro-
cess, as discussed in Chapter 3, users applying the technology as part
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