Skip to Main Content
Most association rule mining algorithms make use of discretization algorithms for handling continuous attributes. Discretization is a process of transforming a continuous attribute value into a finite number of intervals and assigning each interval to a discrete numerical value. However, by means of methods of discretization, it is difficult to get highest attribute interdependency and at the same time to get lowest number of intervals. In this paper we present an association rule mining algorithm that is suited for continuous valued attributes commonly found in scientific and statistical databases. We propose a method using a new graph-based evolutionary algorithm named "genetic network programming (GNP)" that can deal with continues values directly, that is, without using any discretization method as a preprocessing step. GNP represents its individuals using graph structures and evolve them in order to find a solution; this feature contributes to creating quite compact programs and implicitly memorizing past action sequences. In the proposed method using GNP, the significance of the extracted association rule is measured by the use of the chi-squared test and only important association rules are stored in a pool all together through generations. Results of experiments conducted on a real life database suggest that the proposed method provides an effective technique for handling continuous attributes.