KNN Algorithm

In pattern recognition, the k-nearest neighbors algorithm (k-NN) is a non-parametric method used for classification and regression.[1] In both cases, the input consists of the k closest training examples in the feature space. The neighbors are taken from a set of objects for which the class (for k-NN classification) or the object property value (for k-NN regression) is known. This can be thought of as the training set for the algorithm, though no explicit training step is required.

Steps and Performance

A commonly used distance metric for continuous variables is Euclidean distance. For discrete variables, such as for text classification, another metric can be used, such as the overlap metric (or Hamming distance). In the context of gene expression microarray data, for example, k-NN has been employed with correlation coefficients, such as Pearson and Spearman, as a metric.