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R in Action, Second Edition: Data analysis and graphics with R by Robert Kabacoff

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Chapter 14. Principal components and factor analysis

This chapter covers

  • Principal components analysis
  • Exploratory factor analysis
  • Understanding other latent variable models

One of the most challenging aspects of multivariate data is the sheer complexity of the information. If you have a dataset with 100 variables, how do you make sense of all the interrelationships present? Even with 20 variables, there are 190 pairwise correlations to consider when you’re trying to understand how the individual variables relate to one another. Two related but distinct methodologies for exploring and simplifying complex multivariate data are principal components and exploratory factor analysis.

Principal components analysis (PCA) is a data-reduction ...

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