Document Type: Research/Original/Regular Article


1 Department of Computer Engineering, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Computer Engineering, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran


Nowadays, new methods are required to take advantage of the rich and extensive gold mine of data given the vast content of data particularly created by educational systems. Data mining algorithms have been used in educational systems especially e-learning systems due to the broad usage of these systems. Providing a model to predict final student results in educational course is a reason for using data mining in educational systems. In this paper, we propose a novel rule-based classification method, called S3PSO (Students’ Performance Prediction based on Particle Swarm Optimization), to extract the hidden rules, which could be used to predict students’ final outcome. The proposed S3PSO method is based on Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm in discrete space. The S3PSO particles encoding inducts more interpretable even for normal users like instructors. In S3PSO, Support, Confidence, and Comprehensibility criteria are used to calculate the fitness of each rule. Comparing the obtained results from S3PSO with other rule-based classification methods such as CART, C4.5, and ID3 reveals that S3PSO improves 31 % of the value of fitness measurement for Moodle data set. Additionally, comparing the obtained results from S3PSO with other classification methods such as SVM, KNN, Naïve Bayes, Neural Network and APSO reveals that S3PSO improves 9 % of the value of accuracy for Moodle data set and yields promising results for predicting students’ final outcome.


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