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This article explains the main role that space windowing plays in preliminary knowledge extraction from multifactor and multivariate databases coming from complex system empirical studies. The explanation is based on the general case of a database with a hyperparallelepipedic structure in which the directions correspond to the factors and where the measurement variables may be quantitative or qualitative, temporal or nontemporal, and objective or subjective. First, the data in each cell of the hyperparallelepiped is transformed into membership values that can be averaged over factors, such as time or individual. Then, several graphic techniques can be exploited to investigate membership values. This article mainly focuses on the use of multiple correspondence analysis (MCA). A didactic example with several factors and several kinds of variables—nontemporal vs. temporal where each one may be either quantitative or qualitative—is used to illustrate the widespread use of the pair “space windowing/MCA.” The discussion presents the advantages and disadvantages of using space windowing to perform a preliminary analysis of a multifactor multivariate system study.
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Keywords: Complex system analysis; Fuzzy coding; Knowledge discovery; Multifactor analysis; Multiple correspondence analysis (MCA); Multivariate analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratoire d'Automatique, de Mecanique, et d'Informatique Industrielles et Humaines (LAMIH), University of Valenciennes, France

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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