An Approach to Mining Crime Patterns

An Approach to Mining Crime Patterns

Sikha Bagui (The University of West Florida, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-098-1.ch015


This paper presents a knowledge discovery effort to retrieve meaningful information about crime from a U.S. state database. The raw data were preprocessed, and data cubes were created using Structured Query Language (SQL). The data cubes then were used in deriving quantitative generalizations and for further analysis of the data. An entropy-based attribute relevance study was undertaken to determine the relevant attributes. A machine learning software called WEKA was used for mining association rules, developing a decision tree, and clustering. SOM was used to view multidimensional clusters on a regular two-dimensional grid.
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Data mining applications are called to extract descriptive patterns, typically used for decision making, from the data contained in traditional databases and recently also from other unconventional information systems such as the web.

Examples of these applications are the market basket analysis, that extracts patterns such as association rules between purchased items, sequential patterns (that extract temporal descriptions between observed events), classification, clustering and link analysis as in Quinlan (1993) and Agrawal, Imielinski, and Swami (1993) (that provide, in other words, user profiles, text mining, graph mining, and so on). Furthermore, these patterns can be used to give an explanation of the patterns themselves. In this case the data patterns are considered as data to be analysed (and not necessarily with the same analysis tool that was used to obtain them).

Inductive databases have been launched in Imielinski and Mannila (1996) as general-purpose databases in which both the data and the patterns can be represented, retrieved, and manipulated with the goal to assist the deployment of the knowledge discovery process (KDD). Thus, KDD becomes a querying sequence in a query language designed for a specific data mining problem (Boulicaut, Klemettinen, & Mannila, 1998). Consequently, an inductive database should integrate several heterogeneous data mining tools that deal with very different heterogeneous and complex data models. For example, source raw data may be represented as flat tables, or, nowadays, by loosely structured documents containing data coming from the Web as well. Also, the conceptual models are different: classification tools usually adopt a data model that is a classification tree, while basket analysis usually represents patterns by means of set enumeration models.

In this chapter, we propose a semi-structured data model specifically designed for inductive databases and, more generally, for knowledge discovery systems. This model is called XDM (XML for data mining). It is based on XML and is devised to cope with several distinctive features at the same time (Bray, Paoli, & Sperberg-McQueen, 1997).

  • At first, it is semi-structured, in order to be able to represent an a-priori infinite set of data models.

  • Second, it is based on two simple and clear concepts, named Data Item and Statement: a data item is a container of data and/or patterns; a statement is a description of an operator application.

  • Third, with XDM the inductive database state is defined as the collection of data items and statements, and the knowledge discovery process is represented as a set of relationships between data items and statements.

  • Fourth, it provides a definition of the database schema by means of the set of integrity constraints over inputs and outputs for operators. Moreover, it constitutes the meta-data of the KDD process (i.e., in terms of the kind of data produced by the operators). The database schema was obtained with the aid of XML-schema, which makes possible to define constraints that must hold on some specific data items or operators, thus ensuring a certain level of correctness of data and patterns. XML-schema specifications constrain the structure of XML documents and overcome the limitations of classical XML DTDs, by adding the concept of data type for attributes. Refer to Thompson, Beech, Maloney, and Mendelson (2001) and Biron and Malhotra (2001) for detailed descriptions on XML-schema.

The above discussed features of the model set the foundations to achieve operator interoperability within a unique framework (provided that the various operators’ API are XML compliant). Finally, the adoption of XML as syntactic format provides several benefits; in particular, the concept of namespace opens the way to the integration of several data formats and operators inside the same framework (Bray, Hollander, & Layman, 1999).

XDM provides several interesting features for inductive databases:

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