Cluster Distance using SQL with Oracle Data Mining – Part 4

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This is the fourth and last blog post in a series that looks at how you can examine the details of predicted clusters using Oracle Data Mining. In the previous blog posts I looked at how to use CLUSER_ID, CLUSTER_PROBABILITY and CLUSTER_SET.

In this blog post we will look at CLUSTER_DISTANCE. We can use the function to determine how close a record is to the centroid of the cluster. Perhaps we can use this to determine what customers etc we might want to focus on most. The customers who are closest to the centroid are one we want to focus on first. So we can use it as a way to prioritise our workflows, particularly when it is used in combination with the value for CLUSTER_PROBABILITY.

Here is an example of using CLUSTER_DISTANCE to list all the records that belong to Cluster 14 and the results are ordered based on closeness to the centroid of this cluster.

SELECT customer_id, 
       cluster_probability(clus_km_1_37 USING *) as cluster_Prob,
       cluster_distance(clus_km_1_37 USING *) as cluster_Distance
FROM   insur_cust_ltv_sample
WHERE   cluster_id(clus_km_1_37 USING *) = 14
order by cluster_Distance asc;

Here is a subset of the results from this query.

NewImage

When you examine the results you may notice that the records that is listed first and closest record to the centre of cluster 14 has a very low probability. You need to remember that we are working in a N-dimensional space here. Although this first record is closest to the centre of cluster 14 it has a really low probability and if we examine this record in more detail we will find that it is at an overlapping point between a number of clusters.

This is why we need to use the CLUSTER_DISTANCE and CLUSTER_PROBABILITY functions together in our workflows and applications to determine how we need to process records like these.

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