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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Applying Machine Learning to Data Mining problems, April 1, 2011
This review is from: Data Mining: Practical Machine Learning Tools and Techniques, Third Edition (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) (Paperback)
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The subtitle of the book should really be emphasized more: Practical Machine Learning Tools and Techniques. This isn't a book about adhoc SQL queries and database statistics, it is about tools to discover relationships you didn't know you were looking for. Much of the book shows how to handle knowledge formation and representation, statistical modeling and projections. The one critique I have in regard is that much of the algorithm breakdowns are done in prose rather than true pseudocode.

I would like to echo other reviews that point out the text focuses on WEKA, and the authors indicate this is by intent. Though they do give much generic information, at some point you have to pick a horse to hitch your carriage to, and an established open-source project in Java is probably most widely accessible. Their coverage of WEKA claims 50% more features than the 2nd ed. and indeed it consumes half the book. I feel this is a good thing, as it lends great practicality to the book, allowing you to dig right in and get something actually done.

There are some additions to the 3rd ed. that modernize the book a bit. Showing how data can be reidentified (and the ethical implications) is pertinent to today's HIPAA-regulated medical environments. They also touch on web and ubiquitous mining, reflecting our growing foray into non-traditional cloud sources of information.
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 6,041