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The Issue of Missing Values in Data Mining

Beynon, Malcolm James ORCID: 2008. The Issue of Missing Values in Data Mining. Wang, John, ed. Encyclopaedia of Data Warehousing and Mining (2nd ed.), Hershey, PA: IGI Global, pp. 1102-1109. (10.4018/978-1-60566-010-3.ch171)

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The essence of data mining is to investigate for pertinent information that may exist in data (often large data sets). The immeasurably large amount of data present in the world, due to the increasing capacity of storage media, manifests the issue of the presence of missing values (Olinsky et al., 2003; Brown and Kros, 2003). The presented encyclopaedia article considers the general issue of the presence of missing values when data mining, and demonstrates the effect of when managing their presence is or is not undertaken, through the utilisation of a data mining technique. The issue of missing values was first exposited over forty years ago in Afifi and Elashoff (1966). Since then it is continually the focus of study and explanation (El-Masri and Fox-Wasylyshyn, 2005), covering issues such as the nature of their presence and management (Allison, 2000). With this in mind, the naïve consistent aspect of the missing value debate is the limited general strategies available for their management, the main two being either the simple deletion of cases with missing data or a form of imputation of the missing values in someway (see Elliott and Hawthorne, 2005). Examples of the specific investigation of missing data (and data quality), include in; data warehousing (Ma et al., 2000), and customer relationship management (Berry and Linoff, 2000). An alternative strategy considered is the retention of the missing values, and their subsequent ‘ignorance’ contribution in any data mining undertaken on the associated original incomplete data set. A consequence of this retention is that full interpretability can be placed on the results found from the original incomplete data set. This strategy can be followed when using the nascent CaRBS technique for object classification (Beynon, 2005a, 2005b). CaRBS analyses are presented here to illustrate that data mining can manage the presence of missing values in a much more effective manner than the more inhibitory traditional strategies. An example data set is considered, with a noticeable level of missing values present in the original data set. A critical increase in the number of missing values present in the data set further illustrates the benefit from ‘intelligent’ data mining (in this case using CaRBS).

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Publisher: IGI Global
ISBN: 9781605660103
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Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 10:49

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