You are previewing R in Action.

R in Action

Cover of R in Action by Robert Kabacoff Published by Manning Publications
O'Reilly logo

Chapter 14. Principal components and factor analysis


This chapter covers
  • Principal components analysis
  • Exploratory factor analysis
  • 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 technique that ...

The best content for your career. Discover unlimited learning on demand for around $1/day.