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Attribute Types

  • Nominal: categories, states, or “names of things”
    • Hair_color = {auburn, black, blond, brown, grey, red, white}
    • marital status, occupation, ID numbers, zip codes
  • Binary
    • Nominal attribute with only 2 states (0 and 1)
    • Symmetric binary: both outcomes equally important
      • e.g., gender
    • Asymmetric binary: outcomes not equally important.
      • e.g., medical test (positive vs. negative)
      • Convention: assign 1 to most important outcome (e.g., HIV positive)
  • Ordinal
    • Values have a meaningful order (ranking) but magnitude between successive values is not known.
    • Size = {small, medium, large}, grades, army rankings

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