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Fuzzy association rules use fuzzy logic to convert numerical attributes to fuzzy attributes, like ldquoIncome = Highrdquo, thus maintaining the integrity of information conveyed by such numerical attributes. On the other hand, crisp association rules use sharp partitioning to transform numerical attributes to binary ones like ldquoIncome = [100 K and above]rdquo, and can potentially introduce loss of information due to these sharp ranges. Fuzzy Apriori and its different variations are the only popular fuzzy association rule mining (ARM) algorithms available today. Like the crisp version of Apriori, fuzzy Apriori is a very slow and inefficient algorithm for very large datasets (in the order of millions of transactions). Hence, we have come up with a new fuzzy ARM algorithm meant for fast and efficient performance on very large datasets. As compared to fuzzy Apriori, our algorithm is 8-19 times faster for the very large standard real-life dataset we have used for testing with various mining workloads, both typical and extreme ones. A novel combination of features like two-phased multiple-partition tidlist-style processing, byte-vector representation of tidlists, and fast compression of tidlists contribute a lot to the efficiency in performance. In addition, unlike most two-phased ARM algorithms, the second phase is totally different from the first one in the method of processing (individual itemset processing as opposed to simultaneous itemset processing at each k-level), and is also many times faster. Our algorithm also includes an effective preprocessing technique for converting a crisp dataset to a fuzzy dataset.
Date of Conference: 20-24 Aug. 2009