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Discrete vs. Continuous Attributes

  • Discrete Attribute
    • Has only a finite or countably infinite set of values
      • E.g., zip codes, profession, or the set of words in a collection of documents
    • Sometimes, represented as integer variables
    • Note: Binary attributes are a special case of discrete attributes
  • Continuous Attribute
    • Has real numbers as attribute values
      • E.g., temperature, height, or weight
    • Practically, real values can only be measured and represented using a finite number of digits
    • Continuous attributes are typically represented as floating-point variables

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