David Dowe's Snob page

Snob uses the Minimum Message Length (MML) principle to do mixture modelling. Mixture modelling concerns modelling a statistical distribution by a mixture (or weighted sum) of other distributions. Mixture modelling is also known as

  • unsupervised concept learning (in Artificial Intelligence)
  • intrinsic classification (in Philosophy), or, classification
  • clustering
  • numerical taxonomy
  • MML is a method of machine learning, statistical inference, inductive learning, "knowledge discovery" and "data mining" very much in line with the notions of Kolmogorov complexity and algorithmic information theory pioneered by R. J. Solomonoff, A. N. Kolmogorov and Greg Chaitin. See also Wallace & Dowe, "Minimum Message Length and Kolmogorov complexity", Comp. J., Vol 42, No. 4, 270-283.

    The original Snob paper was:

  • Wallace, C.S. and Boulton, D.M., `An Information Measure for Classification', Computer Journal, Vol. 11, No. 2, 1968, pp. 185-194.
  • This is the same paper in which MML was developed. (See also more recent Snob theory and application papers.)

    Snob software

    The Snob software is available subject to conditions.
    Snob Method: Bayesian, MML. Features: Deals with missing data.

    Snob currently deals with

  • Normal (or Gaussian) distributions
  • discrete multi-state (also called Bernoulli or categorical) distributions
  • Poisson distributions
  • von Mises circular distributions
  • missing data
  • Chris Wallace has recently extended Snob to deal with spatial correlation, as occurs in images.

    Russell Edwards and David Dowe have created a version of Snob which deals with single Gaussian factor analysis in sequentially and spatially uncorrelated data. It uses total assignment.

    Snob theory

    Snob ReadMe, documentation and (data) sd1.raw files, .ps of recent, 1997, paper and .pdf of more recent, 2000, paper:
    Wallace, C.S. and D. L. Dowe (2000). MML clustering of multi-state, Poisson, von Mises circular
    and Gaussian distributions, Statistics and Computing, Vol. 10, No. 1, Jan. 2000, pp73-83.

    Papers on theory behind Snob and papers on applications of Snob.

    Fortran compiler
    If you would like to download a Linux Fortran compiler, go to http://www.rpmfind.org/RPM/EByName.html and look for "egcs-g77...".

    C, C++, Java version(s)
    A C version is currently under construction.

    Link to Random number generation software
    (Pseudo-)Random number generation software in Fortran :
    uniform (for multinomial), Gaussian (Normal), von Mises (circular) and Poisson.

    Other links
    Link to Lloyd Allison's Short note on Snob.
    Link to K D Mine's S*i*ftware Snob notes, based on material supplied by D. Dowe and L. Allison.

    Feeding the world: www.thehungersite.com, www.TheRainforestSite.com and other do-goody sites.

    This Snob page was put together by
    Dr. David Dowe,
    Dept. of Computer Science, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3168, Austra lia
    e-mail: d l d at csse dot monash.edu.au
    (Fax: +61 3 9905-5146)
    (and was started on Sat 8th Mar. 1997) and was last updated no earlier than Mon 3rd Mar. 1998.
    Copyright David L. Dowe, Monash University, Australia, 8 Mar 1997, 3 Mar 1998, 7 May 1998, etc.
    Copying is not permitted without expressed permission from David L. Dowe.