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February 2008


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Art Kendall <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Classification, clustering, and phylogeny estimation
Mon, 4 Feb 2008 12:30:03 -0500
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Please tell us more about your application? Are the values ordered? Are 
you trying to find groups of variables or groups of cases (rows, 
subjects, entities)?
How many cases (rows) do you have?  How many variables?  Do all of the 
variables have 3 values? Are you trying to see how an existing partition 
of cases or variables works with other cases or variables?
Often it is helpful to us to know the substantive meaning of your 
variables, and what a case represents.

SPSS is widely available but there are also many specific purpose 
programs around depending on what you are trying to do.
If SPSS itself does not have a procedure, you can call any R procedures 
from within SPSS. So you might be able to use several procedures.
If you are partitioning variables into sets, then you might look at 
Categorical Principal Components analysis (CATPCA).
If you are partitioning cases into sets, then you might look TWOSTEP 
which clusters cases based on either/both categorical and continuous 
If you have an existing 3 value variable, that you want to see how the 
cases with each value differ on another, TREES, CATREG, and DISCRIMINANT 
might be what you could use.
If you have three sets of variables, you can confirm how well a three 
factor solution fits in CATPCA by specifying the number of factors you want.

Art Kendall
Social Research Consultants

Arnaud Trollé wrote:
> Hello,
> I'd like to cluster categorical data (3 categories) by means of a partitioning 
> method; I'm quite a beginner in that field and I would need to be enlightened.
> From a bibliographic review I carried out about that topic, it appeared to me 
> that a method is often used :the k-modes method. From her/his experience, 
> could anyone confirm or deny that it is the case ? If denied, which method 
> could be more "powerful" ?
> Thanks in advance.
> Best Regards.
> Arnaud.
> PhD Student in Acoustics.
> Lyon, France.
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