Iris Flower Data Set

What Does Iris Flower Data Set Mean?

The Iris flower data set is a specific set of information compiled by Ronald Fisher, a biologist, in the 1930s. It describes particular biological characteristics of various types of Iris flowers, specifically, the length and width of both pedals and the sepals, which are part of the flower’s reproductive system.


The Iris flower data set is now widely used as a data set for testing purposes in computer science.

Techopedia Explains Iris Flower Data Set

Fisher’s Iris flower data set is an excellent example of a traditional resource that has become a staple of the computing world, especially for testing purposes. New types of sorting models and taxonomy algorithms often use the Iris flower data set as an input, to examine how various technologies sort and handle data sets. Programmers might, for example, download the Iris flower data set for the purposes of testing a decision tree, or a piece of machine learning software. For this reason, the Iris flower data set is built into some coding libraries, in order to make this process easier.

The Iris flower data set has also been used to explore the world of data mining, as in its use by the IBM Watson analytics engine.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.