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The p-Median Problem for Cluster Analysis: A Comparative Test Using the Mixture Model Approach


  • T. D. Klastorin

    (Graduate School of Business, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195)


Recently, Mulvey and Crowder (Mulvey, J., H. Crowder. 1979. Cluster analysis: an application of Lagrangian relaxation. Management Sci. 25 329--340.) suggested that the p-median problem might be useful for cluster analysis problems (where the goal is to group objects described by a vector of characteristics in such a way that objects in the same group are somehow more alike than objects in different groups). The intent of this paper is to test Mulvey and Crowder's proposal using the mixture model approach; i.e., by applying a number of algorithms (including one for the p-median problem) to a set of objects randomly sampled from a number of known multivariate populations and comparing the ability of each algorithm to detect the original populations. In order to evaluate the results, a generalized partition comparison measure and its distribution are developed. Using this measure, results from various algorithms are compared.

Suggested Citation

  • T. D. Klastorin, 1985. "The p-Median Problem for Cluster Analysis: A Comparative Test Using the Mixture Model Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(1), pages 84-95, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:31:y:1985:i:1:p:84-95

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    Cited by:

    1. García, Sergio & Benati, Stefano, 2012. "A p-median problem with distance selection," DES - Working Papers. Statistics and Econometrics. WS ws121913, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Estadística.
    2. Vakharia, Asoo J. & Mahajan, Jayashree, 2000. "Clustering of objects and attributes for manufacturing and marketing applications," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 640-651, June.
    3. Huerta-Muñoz, Diana L. & Ríos-Mercado, Roger Z. & Ruiz, Rubén, 2017. "An iterated greedy heuristic for a market segmentation problem with multiple attributes," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 261(1), pages 75-87.
    4. Lawrence Hubert & Phipps Arabie, 1985. "Comparing partitions," Journal of Classification, Springer;The Classification Society, vol. 2(1), pages 193-218, December.
    5. Michael Brusco & Douglas Steinley, 2015. "Affinity Propagation and Uncapacitated Facility Location Problems," Journal of Classification, Springer;The Classification Society, vol. 32(3), pages 443-480, October.
    6. Simon Blanchard & Daniel Aloise & Wayne DeSarbo, 2012. "The Heterogeneous P-Median Problem for Categorization Based Clustering," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 741-762, October.


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