Case-based tools find records in a database that are similar to specified records. A user specifies how strong a relationship should be before a new case is brought to her attention. This category of tools is also called memory-based reasoning. Software tries to measure the "distance" based on a measure of one record to other records and cluster records by similarity. This technique has been successful in analyzing relationships in free-form text. The Web sitewww.ai-cbr.org is a resource for the artificial intelligence and case based reasoning technology fields. At the site there is a large list of links to Case-Based Reasoning tool vendors and consultants.
Case-based tools are used with a five-step problem-solving process:
Presentation: a description of the current problem is input to the system.
Retrieval: the system retrieves the closest-matching cases stored in a database of cases.
Adaptation: the system uses the current problem and closest-matching cases to generate a solution to the current problem.
Validation: the solution is validated through feedback from the user of the environment.
Update: if appropriate, the validated solution is added to the case base for use in future problem solving (cf., Allen, 1994).
These tools graphically display complex relationships in multi-dimensional data from different perspectives. Visualization is the graphical presentation of information, with the goal of providing the viewer with a qualitative understanding of the information contents. Data visualization tools are data mining tools that translate complex formulas, mathematical relationships or data warehouse information into graphs or other easily understood models. Statistical tools like cluster analysis or classification and regression trees (CART) are often part of data visualization tools. Analysts can visualize the clusters or examine a binary tree created by classifying records. In a marketing, an analyst may create "co-occurrence" tables or charts of products that are purchased together. A good visualization is easy to understand and interpret and it is a reasonably accurate representation of the underlying data.
Fuzzy Query and Analysis
Fuzzy data mining tools allow users to look at results that are "close" to specified criteria. The user can vary what the definition of "close" is to help determine the significance and number of results that will be returned. This category of data mining tools is based on a branch of mathematics called fuzzy logic. The logic of uncertainty and "fuzziness" provides a framework for finding, scoring, and ranking the results of queries. Fuzzy Tech, a company that develops Fuzzy query software, has a Web site with excellent information on this tool athttp://www.fuzzytech.com/index.htm.