8/16/2005

On Data mining: Comments ~ Able Danger and 9/11

I have worked with data mining (4.00 / 4) by lawnorde

To forecast product sales. It is a wonderful tool but it gives A LOT of false positives.

A tale of success we often told management to sell data mining (and get our budget for it increased) is how it tied diaper purchases with beer purchases. It correctly discovered the new demographic of diaper buyers: Young dads who had to run to the store for diapers and took the opportunity to buy a 6-pack (it's the reason some stores place them in isles close to each other).

But data mining also picked up a lot of false correlations. Each correlation had to be triple checked by a person to make it usable. I'm sure the Atta / Brooklyn was only one in hundreds of equally probable correlations the data mining at Able Danger picked up.

I doubt it was this magic silver bullet they are trying to sell now. IMHO the research group itself discarded the Atta correlation as a false positive, then did a Homer Simpson's DUH on 9/12 and concocted the 'green card' story. "

Booman Tribune ~ Comments ~ Able Danger and 9/11: "

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