cluster analysis

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cluster analysis

[′kləs·tər ə′nal·ə·səs]
(statistics)
A general approach to multivariate problems whose aim is to determine whether the individuals fall into groups or clusters.

cluster analysis

a technique used to identify groups of objects or people that can be shown to be relatively distinct within a data set. The characteristics of those people within each cluster can then be explored. In market research, for example, cluster analysis has been used to identify groups of people for whom different marketing approaches would be appropriate.

There is a rich variety of clustering methods available. A common method is hierarchical clustering which can work either from ‘bottom up’ or from ‘top down’. In ‘agglomerative hierarchical clustering’ (i.e. bottom up), the process begins with as many ‘clusters’ as cases. Using a mathematical criterion such as the standardized Euclidean distance, objects or people are successively joined together into clusters. In ‘divisive hierarchical clustering’ (i.e. top down), the process starts with one single cluster containing all cases, which is then broken down into smaller clusters.

There are many practical problems involved in the use of cluster analysis. The selection of variables to be included in the analysis, the choice of distance measure and the criteria for combining cases into clusters are all crucial. Because the selected clustering method can itself impose a certain amount of structure on the data, it is possible for spurious clusters to be obtained. In general, several different methods should be used. (See Anderberg, 1973, and Everitt, 1974, for full discussions of methods.)

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In the second part of our study, the convergence tendencies among member states of the European Union regarding taxation can be observed by comparing the results of successive cluster analyses.
The next type of cluster analyses conducted looked at how individual couples made decisions in independent and collective tasks in comparison to looking at how all couples made decisions in joint tasks.
2001), initial specific gravities and heartwood ratios were classified by hierarchical cluster analyses and those clusters showed relationships to drying characteristics.
Obviously, no manager would kno wingly analyse random data, but if data sets are not rigorously tested, the solutions from such cluster analyses (and other statistical techniques) can essentially be seen as devoid of meaningful structure.
Through combined DNA fingerprinting cluster analyses, these researchers found additional and unsuspected TB transmission that not only crossed state lines but also crossed social lines (i.
Asked on cluster analyses of four dimensions of masculinity ideology, five patterns of endorsement were identified: moderately traditional, high status/low violence, nontraditional, high violence/moderately traditional.
In the hybrid two-stage cluster analysis, we modified the two-stage cluster analysis method proposed by Punj and Stewart (1983) by conducting three separate two-stage cluster analyses for heavy, light, and nonusers.
Synovate's new Acculturation Model is based on cluster analyses of a variety of demographic and attitudinal measures.