Friday, November 23, 2012

Association Rules in ODM–Part 1

This is a the first part of a four part blog post on building and using Association Rules in Oracle Data Miner. The following outlines the contents of each post in the series on Association Rules

  1. This first part will focus on how to building an Association Rule model
  2. The second post will be on examining the Association Rules produced by ODM – This blog post
  3. The third post will focus on using the Association Rules on your data.
  4. The final post will look at how you can do some of the above steps using the ODM SQL and PL/SQL functions.


The data set we will be using for Association Rule Analysis will be the sample data that comes with the SH schema in the database. Access to this schema and it’s data was setup when we created our data mining schema and ODM Repository.

Step 1 – Getting setup

As with all data mining projects you will need a workspace that will contain your workflows. Based on my previous ODM blog posts you will have already created a Project and some workflows. You can either reuse an existing workflow you have used for one of the other ODM modeling algorithms or you can create a new Workflow called Association Rules.

Step 2 – Define your Data Set

Assuming that your database has been setup to have the Sample schemas and their corresponding data, we will be using the data that is in the SH schema. In a previous post, I gave some instructions on setting up your database to use ODM and part of that involved a step to give your ODM schema access to the sample schema data.

We will start off by creating a Data Source Node. Click on the Data Source Node under the Component Palette. Then move your mouse to your your workspace area and click. A Data Source Node will be created and a window will open. Scroll down the list of Available Tables until you find the SH.SALES table. Click on this table and then click on the Next button. We want to include all the data so we can now click the Finish Button.


Our Data Source Node will now be renamed to SALES.

Step 3 – Setup the Association Build Node

Under the Model section of the Component Palette select Association. Move the mouse to your work area (and perhaps just the to right of the SALES node) click. Our Association Node will be created.


For the next step we need to join the our data source (SALES) with the Association Build Node. Right click on the SALES data node and select Connect from the drop down menu. Then move the mouse to the Association Build node and click. You should now have the two nodes connected.

We will now get the Edit Association Build Node property window opening for us. We will need to enter the following information:

  • Transaction ID: This is the attribute(s) that can be used to uniquely identify each transaction. In our example the Customer ID and the Time ID of the transaction allows us to identify what we want to analyse by i.e. the basket. This will group all the related transactions together
  • Item ID: What is the attribute of the thing you want to analyse. In our case we want to analyse the Products purchased, so select PROD_ID in this case
  • Value: This is an identifier used to specify another column with the transaction data to combine with the Item ID. <Existence> means that you want to see if there are any type of common bundling among all values of the selected Item ID. Use this.


Like all data mining products, Oracle has just one Algorithm to use for Association Rule Analysis, the Apriori Algorithm.

Click the OK button. You are now ready to run the Association Build Node. Right click on the node and select Run from the menu. After a short time everything should finish and we will have the little green tick makes on each of the nodes.



Check out the next post in the series (Part 2) where we will look at how you can examine the rules produced by our model in ODM.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Review Oracle Magazine- July/August 1998

The headline articles for the July/August1998 edition of Oracle Magazine were on designing, developing and delivering Data Marts using the Oracle Database and related tools. The main article looks at the different phases of developing a data mart in 90 days.

One of the key messages in these articles is to keep focused on the business problem and that the technology part is very minor in this. This message is still vey key to the analytics and big data world, keep focused on the business problem.


Other articles included:

  • Oracle ships JDeveloper Suite. It included App Builder for Java, Oracle Application Server 4.0, Oracle 8 Database Server, Symantec’s Visual Page HTML editor, and a one year developer’s membership in the Oracle Technology Network. Yes there used to be a cost to be a member of OTN!!!.
  • Oracle We Developer Suite wins the PC Magazine Editor Choice award. The suite comes with full development licences for Designer/2000 Release 2.1, including object extensions, Developer/2000 Release 2.1, Oracle App Builder for Java, Oracle Application Server 3.0, Oracle Database Server (releases 7 and 8) and the Oracle Web Development Kit
  • Oracle Support announce plans to give read only access, via the web, to its Bug database.
  • There was an advert for TOAD when it was still freeware and provided by ToadSoft.
  • Security management for Oracle 8, has been increasing in importance over the past few years. For all those people who have some security responsibilities, here are some key elements for database security: System security, Data security, User security, Password management and System auditing. Security is more than just providing a Firewall.
  • Building Message-based apps with Oracle 8’s Advanced Queuing, involves 5 main steps, including:
    • Start the server’s AQ background process
    • Create a database user account to manage queues
    • Create a user-defined type for application messages
    • Create a queue table and a corresponding queue of the user defined message type
    • Build the application to enqueue and dequeue messages of the user defined message type
  • For the DBAs there was an article on Fast Full Index Scan, how to enable it and gives a number of examples of the hints including the index_fss.

To view the cover page and the table of contents click on the image at the top of this post or click here.

My Oracle Magazine Collection can be found here. You will find links to my blog posts on previous editions and a PDF for the very first Oracle Magazine from June 1987.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Accepted for BIWA Summit–9th to 10th January

I received an email today to say that I had a presentation accepted for the BIWA Summit. This conference will be in the Sofitel Hotel beside the Oracle HQ in Redwood City.

The title of the presentation is “The Oracle Data Scientist” and the abstract is

Over the past 18 months we have seen a significant increase in the demand for Data Scientists. But how does someone become a data scientist. If we examine the requirements and job descriptions of this role we can see that being able to understand and process data are fundamental skills. So an Oracle developer is ideally suited to being a Data Scientist. The presentation will show how an  Oracle developer can evolve into a data scientist through a number of stages, including BI developer, OBIEE developer, statistical analysis, data miner and data scientist. The tasks and tools will be discussed and explored through each of these roles. The second half of the presentation will focus on the data mining functionality available in SQL and PL/SQL. This will consist of a demonstration of an Analytics Development environment and how you can migrate (and use) your models in a Production environment

For some reason Simon Cowell of XFactor fame kept on popping into my head and it now looks like he will be making an appearance in the presentation too. You will have to wait until the conference to find out what Simon Cowell and Being an Oracle Data Scientist have in common.

Check out the BIWA Summit website for more details and to register for the event.

I’ll see you there Smile