Monday, August 30, 2010

Connecting Sipina and Excel using OLE

The connection between a data mining tool and Excel (and more generally spreadsheet) is a very important issue. We had addressed many times this topic in our tutorials. With hindsight, I think the solution based on add-ins for Excel is the best one, both for SIPINA and for TANAGRA. It is simple, reliable and highly efficient. It does not require developing specific versions. The connection with Excel is a simple additional functionality of the standard distribution.

Prior to reaching this solution, we had explored different trails. In this tutorial, we present the XL-SIPINA software based on Microsoft's OLE technology. At the opposite of the add-in solution, this version of SIPINA chooses to embed Excel into the Data Mining tool. The system works rather well. Nevertheless, it has finally been dropped for two reasons: (1) we were forced to compile special versions that work only if Excel is installed on the user's machine; (2) the transferring time between Excel and Sipina using OLE is prohibitive when the database size grows.

Thus, XL-SIPINA is essentially an attempt short-lived. There is always a bit of nostalgia when I am back on solutions I have explored, and I have finally abandoned. Can be also I have not completely explored this solution.

Last, the application was initially developed for Office 97. I note that it still up to date today, it works fine with Office 2010.

Keywords: excel, tableur, sipina, xls, xlsx, xl-sipina, decision tree induction
Tutorial: en_xls_sipina.pdf
Dataset: autos