Classification in data mining: What is it?

  • Classification is a technique in data mining that involves categorising or classifying data objects into predefined classes, categories, or groups based on their features or attributes. 
  • It is a supervised learning technique that uses labelled data to build a model that can predict the class of new, unseen data.  It is an important task in data mining because it enables organisations to make informed decisions based on their data. 
  • This process relies on machine learning algorithms, statistical techniques, or heuristic methods to identify similarities and differences among data instances, thereby assigning them to appropriate classes.

Classification in data mining serves as a cornerstone for extracting valuable insights from data and making informed decisions across diverse domains. By harnessing the power of classification techniques, organisations can unlock new opportunities, mitigate risks, and gain a competitive edge in today’s data-driven world.

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What is classification in data mining?

Classification in data mining involves the assignment of labels or categories to each instance, record, or data object within a dataset based on their unique features or attributes. Its primary objective is to accurately predict the class labels of new, unseen data points. This process holds significant importance in data mining as it empowers organisations to make informed, data-driven decisions.

For instance, businesses can utilise classification to assign sentiments to customer feedback, reviews, or social media posts, enabling them to gauge the perception of their products or services effectively.

Classification techniques typically fall into two main categories: binary classification and multi-class classification. Binary classification categorises instances into two classes, such as fraudulent or non-fraudulent transactions. On the other hand, multi-class classification extends this concept to assign labels to instances across multiple classes, such as happy, neutral, or sad emotions.

In essence, classification in data mining serves as a powerful tool for organising and interpreting data, enabling organisations to derive valuable insights and drive actionable outcomes.

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Categorisation of classification in data mining

There are different types of classification algorithms based on their approach, complexity, and performance. Here are some common categorisations of classification in data mining.

1. Decision tree-based classification

This type of classification algorithm builds a tree-like model of decisions and their possible consequences. Decision trees are easy to understand and interpret, making them a popular choice for classification problems.

2. Rule-based classification

This type of classification algorithm uses a set of rules to determine the class label of an observation. The rules are typically expressed in the form of IF-THEN statements, where each statement represents a condition and a corresponding action.

3. Instance-based classification

This type of classification algorithm uses a set of training instances to classify new, unseen instances. The classification is based on the similarity between the training instances’ features and the new instances’ features.

4. Bayesian classification

This classification algorithm uses Bayes’ theorem to compute the probability of each class label given the observed features. Bayesian classification is particularly useful when dealing with incomplete or uncertain data.

5. Neural network-based classification

This classification algorithm uses a network of interconnected nodes or neurons to learn a mapping between the input features and the output class labels. Neural networks can handle complex and nonlinear relationships between the features and the class labels.

6. Ensemble-based classification

This classification algorithm combines the predictions of multiple classifiers to improve the overall accuracy and robustness of the classification model. Ensemble methods include bagging, boosting, and stacking.


Aria Jiang

Aria Jiang, an intern reporter at BTW media dedicated in IT infrastructure. She graduated from Ningbo Tech University. Send tips to

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