Week 7- Friday

Hierarchical Clustering

Unlike K-mean clustering Hierarchical clustering starts by assigning all data points as their own cluster. As the name suggests it builds the hierarchy and in the next step, it combines the two nearest data point and merges it together to one cluster.

1. Assign each data point to its own cluster.

2. Find closest pair of cluster using Euclidean distance and merge them in to single cluster.

3. Calculate distance between two nearest clusters and combine until all items are clustered in to a single cluster.

In this technique, you can decide the optimal number of clusters by noticing which vertical lines can be cut by horizontal line without intersecting a cluster and covers the maximum distance.



Things to remember when using clustering algorithm:

  • Standardizing variables so that all are on the same scale. It is important when calculating distances.
  • Treat data for outliers before forming clusters as it can influence the distance between the data points.

Week 7- Monday


Clustering — Unsupervised Learning

What is Clustering?

“Clustering” is the process of grouping similar entities together. The goal of this unsupervised machine learning technique is to find similarities in the data point and group similar data points together.

Why use Clustering?

Grouping similar entities together help profile the attributes of different groups. In other words, this will give us insight into underlying patterns of different groups. There are many applications of grouping unlabeled data, for example, you can identify different groups/segments of customers and market each group in a different way to maximize the revenue.

Another example is grouping documents together which belong to the similar topics etc.

Clustering is also used to reduces the dimensionality of the data when you are dealing with a copious number of variables.

How does Clustering algorithms work?

There are many algorithms developed to implement this technique but for this post, let’s stick the most popular and widely used algorithms in machine learning.

  1. K-mean Clustering
  2. Hierarchical Clustering

K-mean Clustering

It starts with K as the input which is how many clusters you want to find. Place K centroids in random locations in your space.

Now, using the Euclidean distance between data points and centroids, assign each data point to the cluster which is close to it.

Recalculate the cluster centers as a mean of data points assigned to it.
Repeat 2 and 3 until no further changes occur.

Now, you might be thinking that how do I decide the value of K in the first step.

One of the methods is called “Elbow” method can be used to decide an optimal number of clusters. Here you would run K-mean clustering on a range of K values and plot the “percentage of variance explained” on the Y-axis and “K” on X-axis.

In the picture below you would notice that as we add more clusters after 3 it doesn’t give much better modeling on the data. The first cluster adds much information, but at some point, the marginal gain will start dropping.

                                 Elbow Method

Week 6- Friday

Logistic regression (classification) – text chapter 4

After watching the video, we have discussed the following terminologies in the class.

  1. Review of Logistic Regression Concepts:
    • Recap of fundamental concepts in logistic regression, a statistical technique used for predicting binary outcomes. It involves understanding the logistic function, odds ratio, decision boundaries, and the process of maximum likelihood estimation.
  2. Coefficients for Continuous Variables:
    • Numeric values assigned to continuous variables in logistic regression. These coefficients represent the change in log-odds for the outcome variable associated with a one-unit change in the continuous predictor.
  3. Coefficients for Discrete Variables:
    • Weights assigned to dummy variables that represent discrete categories in logistic regression. These coefficients indicate how much the log-odds of
      the outcome change compared to a chosen reference category.
  4. Coefficients for Combinations of Variable Types:
    • Weights associated with logistic regression models that include a mix of continuous and discrete variables. These coefficients demonstrate the joint influence of different types of variables on the log-odds of the predicted outcome.

Week 6 – Wednesday

This report conducts a thorough examination of demographic elements in incidents of police shootings, utilizing data sourced from the Washington Post Police Shootings Database.

Our primary objective is to enhance our understanding of age distribution, race, mental health status, gender, and other pertinent factors associated with instances of police violence.

Age Distribution:

The analysis of age distribution aims to uncover patterns and disparities, providing insights into the prevalence of police violence across various age brackets.

Mental Illness as a Condition:

We delve into the occurrence of mental illness, underscoring the significance of mental health and advocating for appropriate interventions and support.


Through the examination of gender disparities, we contribute to discussions surrounding gender-related aspects of police violence.

Other Factors:

Additional dataset factors such as location and time of day are taken into account to glean insights into the contextual details of these incidents.

This report serves as a valuable asset for policymakers, law enforcement professionals, and advocacy groups dedicated to criminal justice reform. Our insights, rooted in data analysis, aspire to facilitate evidence-based decision-making and address concerns pertaining to police shootings.

Week 6- Monday

My main focus is on analyzing the various variables present in the provided dataset from the Washington Post, particularly emphasizing the examination of their interrelationships. The dataset revolves around fatal police shootings and encompasses two distinct sets of data.

The second dataset specifically furnishes information about law enforcement officers linked to these incidents.

Key variables in this dataset include ID, Name, Type (officers’ roles), States, ORI codes, and Total Shootings. Upon scrutinizing this data, a notable observation is the prevalence of officers associated with local police departments, and the highest recorded number of fatal shootings attributed to a single officer is 129.

In the earlier blog entry, I offered an overview of the first dataset, highlighting its 12 variables.

The primary goal is to investigate potential correlations among these variables. Additionally, I pinpointed crucial features that could establish connections between the two datasets for future analyses.

In the forthcoming blog post, I intend to delve deeper into these variables, further exploring the correlations that can be derived from them.

Week 5- Friday

Dataset Insights 

The dataset in project records occurrences when people were shot and killed by law enforcement officials. It is about fatal police shooting records.
The dataset is split into two distinct files: “/v2/fatal-police-shootings-data.csv,” which includes detailed information about the shooting incidents and the victims involved, and “/v2/fatal-police-shootings-agencies.csv,” which includes details about the police agencies that have been connected to at least one fatal police shooting since 2015.

These two CSV files were combined using a common identifier, “agency_ids,” to produce a larger dataset for study. Any rows with void or “NaN” values were eliminated from the dataset as part of the preprocessing and quality control of the data. This is carried out to guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the data used for analysis.

To gain a better understanding of the dataset and its characteristics, I prepared a histogram. Histograms are particularly useful for illustrating how data is distributed across different categories or bins, making it easier to observe patterns and trends.

It showed that the majority of events involved people who identified as white, followed by cases involving people who identified as Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian.

Week 5- Wednesday

The second project focuses on the analysis of information about fatal police shootings in the US that was obtained from the Washington Post’s repository. I used simple commands like “describe()” and “info()” to start a basic investigation into the data and its properties. The dataset now has 8,770 data entries that span the dates of January 2, 2015, and October 7, 2023. I am currently immersed in the process of becoming familiar with the dataset, exploring its potential analytical uses, and learning more about it.

Week 4 – Monday

Today, I have had an overview of the p-value, which, in my opinion, can be described as the probability under the null hypothesis, indicating a result that is as extreme or more extreme than the observed data.

In simpler terms, it informs you whether the outcomes derived from your data are statistically significant or simply the product of an irregular event. So far haven’t applied it in my project yet, however it may come in handy once I have a hypothesis ready.