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Complexity of Categorical Time Series

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  • Cees H. Elzinga

    ()
    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

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    Abstract

    Categorical time series, covering comparable time spans, are often quite different in a number of aspects: the number of distinct states, the number of transitions, and the distribution of durations over states. Each of these aspects contributes to an aggregate property of such series that is called complexity. Among sociologists and demographers, complexity is believed to systematically differ between groups as a result of social structure or social change. Such groups differ in, for example, age, gender, or status. The author proposes quantifications of complexity, based upon the number of distinct subsequences in combination with, in case of associated durations, the variance of these durations. A simple algorithm to compute these coefficients is provided and some of the statistical properties of the coefficients are investigated in an application to family formation histories of young American females.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by in its journal Sociological Methods & Research.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (February)
    Pages: 655-656

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:somere:v:38:y:2010:i:3:p:655-656

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    Related research

    Keywords: categorical time series; complexity; sequence comparison; sequence analysis;

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    Cited by:
    1. Maria Sironi & Nicola Barban & Roberto Impiacciatore, 2013. "The Role of Parental Social Class in the Transition to Adulthood: A Sequence Analysis Approach in Italy and the United States," Working Papers 059, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    2. Nicholas Longford & Ioana C. Salagean, 2013. "A study of the labour market trajectories in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg," Economics Working Papers 1396, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

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