Discretize by Size (RapidMiner Studio Core)

Synopsis

This operator converts the selected numerical attributes into nominal attributes by discretizing the numerical attribute into bins of user-specified size. Thus each bin contains a user-defined number of examples.

Description

This operator discretizes the selected numerical attributes to nominal attributes. The size of bins parameter is used for specifying the required size of bins. This discretization is performed by binning examples into bins containing the same, user-specified number of examples. Each bin range is named automatically. The naming format of the range can be changed by using the range name type parameter. The values falling in the range of a bin are named according to the name of that range.

It should be noted that if the number of examples is not evenly divisible by the requested number of examples per bin, the actual result may slightly differ from the requested bin size. Similarly, if a range of examples cannot be split, because the numerical values are identical within this set, only all or none can be assigned to a bin. This may lead to further deviations from the requested bin size.

This operator is closely related to the Discretize By Frequency operator. There you have to specify the number of bins you need (say x) and the operator automatically creates it with an almost equal number of values (i.e. n/x values where n is the total number of values). In the Discretize by Size operator you have to specify the number of values you need in each bin (say y) and the operator automatically creates n/y bins with y values.

Differentiation

Discretize by Binning

The Discretize By Binning operator creates bins so their range is (almost) equal.

Discretize by Frequency

The Discretize By Frequency operator creates bins so the number of unique values in all bins are (almost) equal.

Discretize by Entropy

The discretization is performed by selecting bin boundaries so the entropy is minimized in the induced partitions.

Discretize by User Specification

This operator discretizes the selected numerical attributes into user-specified classes.

Input

  • example set input (IOObject)

    This input port expects an ExampleSet. It is the output of the Retrieve operator in the attached Example Process. The output of other operators can also be used as input. Please note that there should be at least one numerical attribute in the input ExampleSet, otherwise the use of this operator does not make sense.

Output

  • example set output (IOObject)

    The selected numerical attributes are converted into nominal attributes by discretization and the resultant ExampleSet is delivered through this port.

  • original (IOObject)

    The ExampleSet that was given as input is passed without changing to the output through this port. This is usually used to reuse the same ExampleSet in further operators or to view the ExampleSet in the Results Workspace.

  • preprocessing model (Preprocessing Model)

    This port delivers the preprocessing model, which has information regarding the parameters of this operator in the current process.

Parameters

  • create_view It is possible to create a View instead of changing the underlying data. Simply select this parameter to enable this option. The transformation that would be normally performed directly on the data will then be computed every time a value is requested and the result is returned without changing the data. Range: boolean
  • attribute_filter_typeThis parameter allows you to select the attribute selection filter; the method you want to use for selecting the required attributes. It has the following options:
    • all: This option simply selects all the attributes of the ExampleSet. This is the default option.
    • single: This option allows selection of a single attribute. When this option is selected another parameter (attribute) becomes visible in the Parameters panel.
    • subset: This option allows selection of multiple attributes through a list. All attributes of the ExampleSet are present in the list; required attributes can be easily selected. This option will not work if the meta data is not known. When this option is selected another parameter becomes visible in the Parameters panel.
    • regular_expression: This option allows you to specify a regular expression for attribute selection. When this option is selected some other parameters (regular expression, use except expression) become visible in the Parameters panel.
    • value_type: This option allows selection of all the attributes of a particular type. It should be noted that types are hierarchical. For example real and integer types both belong to the numeric type. Users should have a basic understanding of type hierarchy when selecting attributes through this option. When this option is selected some other parameters (value type, use value type exception) become visible in the Parameters panel.
    • block_type: This option is similar in working to the value type option. It allows selection of all the attributes of a particular block type. When this option is selected some other parameters (block type, use block type exception) become visible in the Parameters panel.
    • no_missing_values: This option simply selects all attributes of the ExampleSet which don't contain a missing value in any example. Attributes that have even a single missing value are removed.
    • numeric value filter: When this option is selected another parameter (numeric condition) becomes visible in the Parameters panel. All numeric attributes whose examples all satisfy the mentioned numeric condition are selected. Please note that all nominal attributes are also selected irrespective of the given numerical condition.
    Range: selection
  • attributeThe desired attribute can be selected from this option. The attribute name can be selected from the drop down box of attribute parameter if the meta data is known. Range: string
  • attributesThe required attributes can be selected from this option. This opens a new window with two lists. All attributes are present in the left list and can be shifted to the right list which is the list of selected attributes on which the conversion from nominal to numeric will take place; all other attributes will remain unchanged. Range: string
  • regular_expressionThe attributes whose name matches this expression will be selected. Regular expression is a very powerful tool but needs a detailed explanation to beginners. It is always good to specify the regular expression through the edit and preview regular expression menu. This menu gives a good idea of regular expressions. This menu also allows you to try different expressions and preview the results simultaneously. This will enhance your concept of regular expressions. Range: string
  • use_except_expressionIf enabled, an exception to the selected type can be specified. When this option is selected another parameter (except value type) becomes visible in the Parameters panel. Range: boolean
  • except_regular_expressionThis option allows you to specify a regular expression. Attributes matching this expression will be filtered out even if they match the first expression (expression that was specified in the regular expression parameter). Range: string
  • value_typeThe type of attributes to be selected can be chosen from a drop down list. One of the following types can be chosen: nominal, text, binominal, polynominal, file_path. Range: selection
  • use_value_type_exception If enabled, an exception to the selected type can be specified. When this option is selected another parameter (except value type) becomes visible in the Parameters panel. Range: boolean
  • except_value_typeThe attributes matching this type will be removed from the final output even if they matched the previously mentioned type i.e. value type parameter's value. One of the following types can be selected here: nominal, text, binominal, polynominal, file_path. Range: selection
  • block_typeThe block type of attributes to be selected can be chosen from a drop down list. The only possible value here is 'single_value' Range: selection
  • use_block_type_exception If enabled, an exception to the selected block type can be specified. When this option is selected another parameter (except block type) becomes visible in the Parameters panel. Range: boolean
  • except_block_typeThe attributes matching this block type will be removed from the final output even if they matched the previously mentioned block type. Range: selection
  • numeric_conditionThe numeric condition for testing examples of numeric attributes is specified here. For example the numeric condition '> 6' will keep all nominal attributes and all numeric attributes having a value of greater than 6 in every example. A combination of conditions is possible: '> 6 && < 11' or '<= 5 || < 0'. But && and || cannot be used together in one numeric condition. Conditions like '(> 0 && < 2) || (>10 && < 12)' are not allowed because they use both && and ||. Use a blank space after '>', '=' and '<' e.g. '<5' will not work, so use '< 5' instead. Range: string
  • include_special_attributesThe special attributes are attributes with special roles which identify the examples. In contrast regular attributes simply describe the examples. Special attributes are: id, label, prediction, cluster, weight and batch. Range: boolean
  • invert_selectionIf this parameter is set to true, it acts as a NOT gate, it reverses the selection. In that case all the selected attributes are unselected and previously unselected attributes are selected. For example if attribute 'att1' is selected and attribute 'att2' is unselected prior to checking of this parameter. After checking of this parameter 'att1' will be unselected and 'att2' will be selected. Range: boolean
  • size_of_binsThis parameter specifies the required size of bins i.e. number of examples contained in a bin. Range: integer
  • sorting_directionThis parameter indicates if the values should be sorted in increasing or decreasing order. Range: selection
  • range_name_typeThis parameter is used for changing the naming format for range. 'long', 'short' and 'interval' formats are available. Range: selection
  • automatic_number_of_digitsThis is an expert parameter. It is only available when the range name type parameter is set to 'interval'. It indicates if the number of digits should be automatically determined for the range names. Range: boolean
  • number_of_digitsThis is an expert parameter. It is used to specify the minimum number of digits used for the interval names. Range: integer

Tutorial Processes

Discretizing the Temperature attribute of the 'Golf' data set

The focus of this Example Process is the discretization procedure. For understanding the parameters related to attribute selection please study the Example Process of the Select Attributes operator.

The 'Golf' data set is loaded using the Retrieve operator. A breakpoint is inserted here so that you can gave a look at the ExampleSet. You can see that the 'Temperature' attribute is a numerical attribute. The Discretize by Size operator is applied on it. The 'Temperature' attribute is selected for discretization. The size of bins parameter is set to 5. Run the process and switch to the Results Workspace. You can see that the 'Temperature' attribute has been changed from numerical to nominal form. The values of the 'Temperature' attribute have been divided into three ranges. Each range has an equal number of unique values. You can see that 'range1' and 'range3' have 4 examples while the 'range2' has 6 examples. All bins do not have exactly equal values because 14 examples cannot be grouped by 5 examples per bin. But in 'range2' the 'Temperature' values 72 and 75 occur twice. Thus essentially 4 unique numerical values are present in 'range2'.