, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 261–274 | Cite as

GDP growth vs. criminal phenomena: data mining of Japan 1926–2013

  • Xingan Li
  • Henry Joutsijoki
  • Jorma Laurikkala
  • Martti JuholaEmail author
Open Forum


The aim of this article is to inquire about potential relationship between change of crime rates and change of gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, based on historical statistics of Japan. This national-level study used a dataset covering 88 years (1926–2013) and 13 attributes. The data were processed with the self-organizing map (SOM), separation power checked by our ScatterCounter method, assisted by other clustering methods and statistical methods for obtaining comparable results. The article is an exploratory application of the SOM in research of criminal phenomena through processing of multivariate data. The research confirmed previous findings that SOM was able to cluster efficiently the present data and characterize these different clusters. Other machine learning methods were applied to ensure clusters computed with SOM. The correlations obtained between GDP and other attributes were mostly weak, with a few of them interesting.


Data mining Self-organizing map Classification methods Japan GDP growth rate Crime rate Development of criminal phenomena 



The second author is thankful for the Finnish Cultural Foundation Pirkanmaa Regional Fund for the support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xingan Li
    • 1
  • Henry Joutsijoki
    • 2
  • Jorma Laurikkala
    • 2
  • Martti Juhola
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Governance, Law and SocietyTallinn UniversityTallinnEstonia
  2. 2.Computer Science, Faculty of Natural SciencesUniversity of TampereTampereFinland

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