The representation of three-way proximity data by single and multiple tree structure models

J. Douglas Carroll, Linda A. Clark, Wayne S. DeSarbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Models for the representation of proximity data (similarities/dissimilarities) can be categorized into one of three groups of models: continuous spatial models, discrete nonspatial models, and hybrid models (which combine aspects of both spatial and discrete models). Multidimensional scaling models and associated methods, used for the spatial representation of such proximity data, have been devised to accommodate two, three, and higher-way arrays. At least one model/method for overlapping (but generally non-hierarchical) clustering called INDCLUS (Carroll and Arabie 1983) has been devised for the case of three-way arrays of proximity data. Tree-fitting methods, used for the discrete network representation of such proximity data, have only thus far been devised to handle two-way arrays. This paper develops a new methodology called INDTREES (for INdividual Differences in TREE Structures) for fitting various (discrete) tree structures to three-way proximity data. This individual differences generalization is one in which different individuals, for example, are assumed to base their judgments on the same family of trees, but are allowed to have different node heights and/or branch lengths. We initially present an introductory overview focussing on existing two-way models. The INDTREES model and algorithm are then described in detail. Monte Carlo results for the INDTREES fitting of four different three-way data sets are presented. In the application, a single ultrametric tree is fitted to three-way proximity data derived from intention-to-buy-data for various brands of over-the-counter pain relievers for relieving three common types of maladies. Finally, we briefly describe how the INDTREES procedure can be extended to accommodate hybrid modelling, as well as to handle other types of applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-74
Number of pages50
JournalJournal of Classification
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Library and Information Sciences


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