Book Image

R Data Mining

Book Image

R Data Mining

Overview of this book

R is widely used to leverage data mining techniques across many different industries, including finance, medicine, scientific research, and more. This book will empower you to produce and present impressive analyses from data, by selecting and implementing the appropriate data mining techniques in R. It will let you gain these powerful skills while immersing in a one of a kind data mining crime case, where you will be requested to help resolving a real fraud case affecting a commercial company, by the mean of both basic and advanced data mining techniques. While moving along the plot of the story you will effectively learn and practice on real data the various R packages commonly employed for this kind of tasks. You will also get the chance of apply some of the most popular and effective data mining models and algos, from the basic multiple linear regression to the most advanced Support Vector Machines. Unlike other data mining learning instruments, this book will effectively expose you the theory behind these models, their relevant assumptions and when they can be applied to the data you are facing. By the end of the book you will hold a new and powerful toolbox of instruments, exactly knowing when and how to employ each of them to solve your data mining problems and get the most out of your data. Finally, to let you maximize the exposure to the concepts described and the learning process, the book comes packed with a reproducible bundle of commented R scripts and a practical set of data mining models cheat sheets.
Table of Contents (22 chapters)
Title Page
About the Author
About the Reviewers
Customer Feedback

What is R?

Let's start from the very beginning, What exactly is R? You will have read a lot about it on data analysis and data science blogs and websites, but perhaps you are still not able to fix the concept in your mind. R is a high-level programming language. This means that by passing the kind of R scripts you are going to learn in this book, you will be able to order your PC to execute some desired computations and operations, resulting in some predefined output. 

Programming languages are a set of predefined instructions that the computer is able to understand and react to, and R is one of them. You may have noticed that I referred to R as a high-level programming language. What does high-level mean? One way to understand it is by comparing it to typical industrial company structures. Within such companies, there is usually a CEO, senior managers, heads of departments, and so on, level by level until we reach the final group of workers.

What is the difference between those levels of a company hierarchy? The CEO makes the main strategical decisions, developing a strategical plan without taking care of tactical and operational details. From there, the lower you go in the hierarchy described, the more tactical and operational decisions become, until you reach the base worker, whose main duty is to execute basic operations, such as screwing and hammering. 

It is the same for programming languages:

  • High-level programming languages are like the CEO; they abstract from operational details, stating high-level sentences which will then be translated by lower-level languages the computer is able to understand
  • Low-level programming languages are like the heads of departments and workers; they take sentences from higher-level languages and translate them into chunks of instructions needed to make the computer actually produce the output the CEO is looking for

To be precise, we should specify that it is also possible to directly write code using low-level programming languages. Nevertheless, since they tend to be more complex and wordy, their popularity has declined over time.

Now that we have a clear idea of what R is, let's move on and acquire a bit of knowledge about where R came from and when.