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Cluster Analysis Hardcover – Feb 21 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 5 edition (Feb. 21 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470749911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470749913
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #410,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER on Feb. 23 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book as the text in a four-week online class on cluster analysis. I learned a great deal and do not regret purchasing this book. It has several strengths and some weaknesses as an introduction to this statistical technique.

There is a good introduction to the unsupervised learning problem of classifying objects into meaningful groups with no basis for validating these classifications. The authors' decision to focus on graphical methods early in the text is a good one and lays an intuitive foundation for their more technical presentation later in the book. The discussion of similarity measures at the core of cluster analysis is a good overview and prepares readers for more advanced discussions elsewhere.

The book closes with the highly useful and practical chapter "Some final comments and guidelines." It lists and describes nine steps in a typical cluster analysis and refers readers back to sections of the book which inform the decisions at each step. It's coverage of methods for testing cluster quality and the likelihood of no structure in a dataset is also accessible and of practical value. Readers might consider looking through this material before reading the previous chapters to help organize the information more meaningfully.

The middle chapters are worth reading, but suffer from a few problems. In general, these chapters are better at describing the boundaries of current research in clustering techniques than they are in describing typical applications. There are too many research results and not enough examples. The examples that are included are described too briefly, making it difficult to follow how the analysis was carried out. Better integration of citations in the body of the text would be a key improvement.
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By A Customer on April 15 2003
Format: Hardcover
Here is an excellent introduction to cluster analysis. The concepts are explained in clear language, with many illustrative examples. It is possibly the best of the introductory level books. I give it 4 stars because of a few misprints, and a few places where some essential information or detail has been omitted that can lead to misunderstanding.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Good introduction April 15 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Here is an excellent introduction to cluster analysis. The concepts are explained in clear language, with many illustrative examples. It is possibly the best of the introductory level books. I give it 4 stars because of a few misprints, and a few places where some essential information or detail has been omitted that can lead to misunderstanding.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Cluster Analysis at the Edge Dec 9 2012
By John M. Ford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book as the text in a four-week online class on cluster analysis. I learned a great deal and do not regret purchasing this book. It has several strengths and some weaknesses as an introduction to this statistical technique.

There is a good introduction to the unsupervised learning problem of classifying objects into meaningful groups with no basis for validating these classifications. The authors' decision to focus on graphical methods early in the text is a good one and lays an intuitive foundation for their more technical presentation later in the book. The discussion of similarity measures at the core of cluster analysis is a good overview and prepares readers for more advanced discussions elsewhere.

The book closes with the highly useful and practical chapter "Some final comments and guidelines." It lists and describes nine steps in a typical cluster analysis and refers readers back to sections of the book which inform the decisions at each step. It's coverage of methods for testing cluster quality and the likelihood of no structure in a dataset is also accessible and of practical value. Readers might consider looking through this material before reading the previous chapters to help organize the information more meaningfully.

The middle chapters are worth reading, but suffer from a few problems. In general, these chapters are better at describing the boundaries of current research in clustering techniques than they are in describing typical applications. There are too many research results and not enough examples. The examples that are included are described too briefly, making it difficult to follow how the analysis was carried out. Better integration of citations in the body of the text would be a key improvement. As would inclusion of sample exercises with worked-out solutions in an appendix.

Recognizing the difficulty of making a statistics text accessible to readers using a variety of software packages, I still believe this was not done well in this book. See Iain Pardoe's Applied Regression Modeling for one example of how to do this very well. I will hope for improvements in a later edition of this book.

This book has challenges as a text, but was worth the price and the time spent with it. Still, I will be on the lookout for a better alternative.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Old might still be gold Oct. 7 2010
By Vishnu K Lagoo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I own acopy of the second edition of presumably the same book published in 1980. But its author is Brian Everitt alone and it has 132 pages. Obviously, the current edition discusses the more recent developments in Clustering Analysis and it has two more co-authors. So I might miss on newer definitions, but I have to say that the author's explanation of the then available methods in the old edition is of excellent quality.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
OK review of the field Feb. 25 2008
By Maggiexyz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book covered pretty extensively what's going on in the field of cluster analysis. It's a good reference book, but not the best in terms of teaching me the logic underlying various decisions in cluster analysis.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Put SPSS Options in Context March 22 2008
By Keith McCormick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a frequent user of SPSS software, including cluster analysis, and I found that I couldn't get good definitions of all the options available. I chose this book because I jotted down the terms that were poorly described in SPSS help, and then looked them up in the index of this book in the book description. I found several, so I bought the book.

I was pleased with the result. It put cluster in a much broader context than SPSS classes or user's guides do. It talks about techniques that SPSS can't do. If obviously goes into greater detail including more than a few formulas, but it reads fairly well. I still don't think that more than a handful of the folks I work with in need this much detail, and a serious practitioner might need even more. Kachigan's chapter on this topic would be more relevant to a wide audience. Multivariate Statistical Analysis: A Conceptual Introduction

Note that you won't find any explicit references except for an appendix which lists stats software and the related cluster features. This part is quite out of date. There are no SPSS pictures or examples. Still, if you want the whole story, this is a fine choice.

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