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Exploring topics related to data mining on Wikipedia

Yanyan Wang (School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)
Jin Zhang (School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 7 August 2017




Data mining has been a popular research area in the past decades. Many researchers study data-mining theories, methods, applications and trends; however, there are very few studies on data-mining-related topics in social media. This paper aims to explore the topics related to data mining based on the data collected from Wikipedia.


In total, 402 data-mining-related articles were obtained from Wikipedia. These articles were manually classified into several categories by the coding method. Each category formed an article-term matrix. These matrices were analysed and visualized by the self-organizing map approach. Several clusters were observed in each category. Finally, the topics of these clusters were extracted by content analysis.


The articles obtained were classified into six categories: applications, foundation and concepts, methodologies, organizations, related fields and topics and technology support. Business, biology and security were the three prominent topics of the applications category. The technologies supporting data mining were software, systems, databases, programming languages and so forth. The general public was more interested in data-mining organizations than the researchers. They also focused on the applications of data mining in business more than in other fields.


This study will help researchers gain insight into the general public’s perceptions of data mining and discover the gap between the general public and themselves. It will assist researchers in finding new techniques and methods which will potentially provide them with new data-mining methods and research topics.



Wang, Y. and Zhang, J. (2017), "Exploring topics related to data mining on Wikipedia", The Electronic Library, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 667-688.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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