Why is Matlab the best language for data mining?

July 13, 2007 by
Filed under: data mining, Java, Matlab, programming language 

While starting a new project a few days ago, I had to answer the recurrent question: What language do I choose? In research, we have the opportunity of choosing any language, free or not. This is usually not the case in industry where the language can be fixed for many reasons (price, customer choice, boss choice, same as existing system, etc.).

I basically had to choose between Java and Matlab (C++ was soon deleted from my list since I don’t like to spend time on pointers and manually free up the memory, but this is very personal). Of course a lot of others are available, but I feel more confident with these two. As most of my work was done with Matlab, I decided to start with Java. Contradictory? Not at all, I just wanted to know how easy it was to use Java for raw data mining tasks (i.e. without using JDM framework or such).

When doing data mining, a large part of the work is to manipulate data. Indeed, the part of coding the algorithm can be quite short since Matlab has a lot of toolboxes for data mining. And when manipulating data, Matlab is definitely better. It is normal since it is done to work with matrices (MATrix LABoratory). Thus, deleting a row, a column, transposing a matrix, calculating the determinant… all these can be done in one line of code. To my knowledge, this is not the case with Java, but if you know some way, feel free to comment.

For more information about using Matlab for data mining, the best place is Will’s blog. In the next post, I will write about the other side of the coin and explain some of Matlab’s drawbacks.



10 Comments on Why is Matlab the best language for data mining?

  1. Will Dwinnell on Sat, 14th Jul 2007 11:06 am
  2. MATLAB’s “drawbacks”? You can’t be serious!

    Just kidding…

  3. damien françois on Tue, 17th Jul 2007 5:42 pm
  4. Matlab rules !

    Seriously, I’ve been using Matlab for data mining for 6 years now and I really appreciate its ease of use; you can really work very fast. However, Matlab is sometimes a bit slow and unable to handle large datasets.

  5. Sandro Saitta on Mon, 6th Aug 2007 2:40 pm
  6. I’m happy to see other Matlab enthusiasts. Now that I use Matlab, I cannot think of another programming language for doing data mining (but I’m sure there are others…)

  7. KOUSHIK on Sat, 28th Aug 2010 8:15 pm
  8. Can I develop data mining through VB .net and also use SQLSERVER.

  9. Sandro Saitta on Sun, 29th Aug 2010 7:08 pm
  10. @Koushik: Yes, SQL Server has data mining facilities, but I never use them.

  11. selva on Mon, 3rd Jan 2011 6:46 am
  12. hi i am doing a project on rough fuzzy collaborative clustering can any one help in to do this in matlab… thanks in advance

  13. s kumar on Thu, 30th Jun 2011 5:17 am
  14. hi Sandro,

    it nice to see your article. can you please help me write the code of apriori association rule mining.


    s kumar

  15. uma on Sat, 2nd Jul 2011 5:48 am
  16. hi, i am doing research in data mining. now i learnt matlab for the post two months. but i could not understand the classregtree. can you please help me write code of creating classification tree using some datasets.

    […] propriety software, such as SAS, and some do this with free open source software, such as Hadoop, MATLAB, or the R programming language. Data analytics is how Amazon knows to recommend items that would […]

  17. Gianfranco on Thu, 21st Jul 2016 2:28 pm
  18. Any suggestions about books or courses, webinars for data mining with matlab with practical examples?

Tell me what you're thinking...

  • Swiss Association for Analytics

  • Most Popular Posts

  • T-shirts, Mugs & Mousepads

    All benefits given to a charity association
  • Archives

  • Visitors