Data Mining Functionalities

Data mining has an important place in today’s world. It becomes an important research area as there is a huge amount of data available in most of the applications. This huge amount of data must be processed in order to extract useful information and knowledge, since they are not explicit. Data Mining is the process of discovering interesting knowledge from large amount of data.

The kinds of patterns that can be discovered depend upon the data mining tasks employed. By and large, there are two types of data mining tasks: descriptive data mining tasks that describe the general properties of the existing data, and predictive data mining tasks that attempt to do predictions based on inference on available data. The data mining functionalities and the variety of knowledge they discover are briefly presented in the following list:

  1. Characterization: It is the summarization of general features of objects in a target class, and produces what is called characteristic rules. The data relevant to a user-specified class are normally retrieved by a database query and run through a summarization module to extract the essence of the data at different levels of abstractions. For example, one may wish to characterize the customers of a store who regularly rent more than movies a year. With concept hierarchies on the attributes describing the target class, the attribute oriented induction method can be used to carry out data summarization. With a data cube containing summarization of data, simple OLAP operations fit the purpose of data characterization.
  2. Discrimination: Data discrimination produces what are called discriminant rules and is basically the comparison of the general features of objects between two classes referred to as the target class and the contrasting class.
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An Introduction to Data Mining

Data mining involves the use of sophisticated data analysis tools to discover previously unknown, valid patterns and relationships in large data sets. These tools can include statistical models, mathematical algorithms, and machine learning methods such as neural networks or decision trees. Consequently, data mining consists of more than collecting and managing data, it also includes analysis and prediction. The objective of data mining is to identify valid, novel, potentially useful, and understandable correlations and patterns in existing data. Finding useful patterns in data is known by different names (e.g., knowledge extraction, information discovery, information harvesting, data archaeology, and data pattern processing).

The term “data mining” is primarily used by statisticians, database researchers, and the business communities. The term KDD (Knowledge Discovery in Databases) refers to the overall process of discovering useful knowledge from data, where data mining is a particular step in this process. The steps in the KDD process, such as data preparation, data selection, data cleaning, and proper interpretation of the results of the data mining process, ensure that useful knowledge is derived from the data. Data mining is an extension of traditional data analysis and statistical approaches as it incorporates analytical techniques drawn from various disciplines like AI, machine learning, OLAP, data visualization, etc.

Data Mining covers variety of techniques to identify nuggets of information or decision-making knowledge in bodies of data, and extracting these in such a way that they can be. Put to use in the areas such as decision support, prediction, forecasting and estimation. The data is often voluminous, but as it stands of low value as no direct use can be made of it; it is the hidden information in the data that is really useful.… Read the rest

Different Security Attacks on RFID Systems

Like other information systems, RFID systems are vulnerable to attack and can be compromised at various stages. Generally the attacks against a RFID system can be categorized into four major groups: attacks on authenticity, attacks on integrity, attacks on confidentiality, and attacks on availability. Besides being vulnerable to common attacks such as eavesdropping, man-in-the-middle and denial of service, RFID technology is, in particular, susceptible to spoof and power attacks. This section illustrates the different kinds of attacks on RFID systems.

  1. Eavesdropping: Since an RFID tag is a wireless device that emits a unique identifier upon interrogation by a RFID reader, there exists a risk that the communication between tag and reader can be eavesdropped. Eavesdropping occurs when an attacker intercepts data with any compliant reader for the correct tag family and frequency while a tag is being read by an authorized RFID reader. Since most RFID systems use clear text communication due to tag memory capacity or cost, eavesdropping is a simple but efficient means for the attacker to obtain information on the collected tag data. The information picked up during the attack can have serious implications – used later in other attacks against the RFID system.
  2. Man-in-the-Middle Attack: Depending on the system configuration, a man-in-the-middle attack is possible while the data is in transit from one component to another. An attacker can interrupt the communication path and manipulate the information back and forth between RFID components. This is a real-time threat. The attack will reveal the information before the intended device receives it and can change the information en route.
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RFID Standards

As far as standards of RFID are concerned, an RFID system can use a few standards. Reason behind this being that there is no one universally accepted standard at the moment. Since years, competing standards have been one of the crucial challenges for RFID. The specifications and standards may be decided and composed at the national, international, industry or trade association level. The individual organizations may call their own specifications as “standard”. When these individual organizations set various industry standards and specifications, normally they are based on international standards in order to make implementation and support easier. Apart from this, there comes an added advantage of providing a wider choice of available products.

These standards can be applied to include the content and format of the codes placed on the tags, the frequencies and protocols that will be used by the tags and readers to transmit the RFID data, the applications use, and the security and tamper-resistance of tags on packaging and freight containers. Currently, Wal-Mart and the Department of Defense (DoD) are the two largest drivers of RFID. Both the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wal-Mart have issued mandates for their top suppliers to use RFID technology when shipping products to their distribution centers. With a slightly different long-term outlook, they are both looking to accomplish the same thing.

In the above mentioned RFID standards debate, the ISO (International Standards Organization) and the EPC Global have both been leading figures. The ISO has their 18000 standard and the EPC standard has been introduced by the EPC Global Center.… Read the rest

Components of an RFID System

Radio frequency Identification (RFID) as the name implies uses radio frequency to exchange data between two entities for identification purpose. It is a wireless technology to collect information without any human interventions.

An RFID system is basically an integrated combination of various components which work together for detection and identification of objects or persons. These are the components which are primarily responsible for working of any RFID system whether basic or complex. Although there can always be additional components associated with RFID systems like sensors etc. but the following are amongst the key components of these systems:

  1. A tag (sometimes called a transponder), which is composed of a semiconductor chip, an antenna, and sometimes a battery.
  2. An interrogator (sometimes called a reader or a read/write device), which is composed of an antenna, an RF electronics module, and a control electronics module.
  3. A controller (sometimes called a host), which most often takes the form of a PC or a workstation running database and control (often called middleware) software.

The tag and the reader communicate information between one another via radio waves. When a tagged object enters the read zone of a reader, the reader signals the tag to transmit its stored data. Tags can hold many kinds of information about the objects they are attached to, including serial numbers, time stamps, configuration instructions, and much more. Once the reader has received the tag’s data, that information is relayed back to the controller via a standard network interface, such as an Ethernet LAN or even the internet.… Read the rest

Introduction to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

In past few recent years, the automatic identification techniques have become quite more than popular and they have also find their places into the core of service industries, manufacturing companies, aviation, clothing, transport systems and much more. And, it’s pretty clear by this point of time that the automated identification technology especially RFID, is highly helpful in providing information regarding the timings, location and even more intense information about people, animals, goods etc. in transit. RFID is responsible for storage of large amount of data and is reprogrammable also as in contrast with its counterpart barcodes automatic identification technology.

In everyday life, the most common form of an electronic data-carrying device if often a smartcard which is probably based upon the contact field. But, this kind of a contact oriented card is normally impractical and less flexible to use. On the contrary, if we think of a contactless card with contactless data transferring capabilities, it would be far more flexible. This communication happens between the data carrying device and its reader. Now, this situation may further appear as ideal if it so happens that the power for the data carrying device comes from the reader by making use of the contactless technology. Because of this specific kind of power transferring and data carrying procedures, the contactless automatic identification systems are termed as Radio frequency Identification Systems.

What is RFID?

The term RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. Radio stands for invocation of the wireless transmission and propagation of information or data.… Read the rest