Help me analyze data about networks.
February 8, 2012 2:25 PM Subscribe
How can I analyze some data about linkages between data elements in a way that will give me meaningful information about the similarity of the relationships? This has got to be a solved problem!
posted by TheNewWazoo to Education (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Let's say I've got a list of everyone who has walked through some doors, say, in a mall. In fact, I excellent records about which doors each person has walked through. I'm looking for some sort of analysis that will help me to collect people into groups based on how similar they are in terms of which doors they mostly walk through (this group often goes to Sears and JC Penny, that group only goes to Cinnabon, etc). I'm also looking to be able to be able to calculate some sort of degree of "aberrance" in behavior based on grouping - say, when someone who belongs to a group that would otherwise only ever shop at shoe stores also went to at Tower Records that one time.
The behavioral aspect is purely illustrative - I'm strictly looking to be able to group things together with some sort of numerical "confidence", hopefully that I could analyze for anomalies or change over time.
What is this area of math called? Are there any good tool sets (say, as part of R, or MATLAB/Octave) that I can use? Can anyone recommend a good textbook? I haven't taken linear algebra, so fewer pre-reqs would be nice.