What is meant by classification of elements

Multivariate Analysis Methods pp 203-266 | Cite as

  • Klaus Backhaus
  • Bernd Erichson
  • Wulff Plinke
  • Rolf Weiber
First Online:
  • 1Citations


Discriminant analysis is a multivariate method for analyzing group differences. It makes it possible to examine the differences between two or more groups with regard to a plurality of variables, in particular to answer questions of the following kind:

• Do groups differ significantly in terms of variables?

• Which variables are particularly suitable for differentiating between given groups?

In addition to the analysis of group differences, the determination or prognosis of the group membership of elements (classification) is of particularly high relevance for practical application. The discriminant analysis provides the answer to the following question: "In which group should a 'new' element, whose group membership is not known, be classified based on its characteristics?"

The chapter clarifies the procedure of the discriminant analysis on the basis of the central process steps of the procedure with recourse to a simple example. Subsequently, for a larger case study, it will be shown how a simultaneous and a step-by-step (multiple) discriminant analysis is calculated with the help of IBM SPSS and which result outputs are particularly important for practical application. The SPSS outputs are interpreted in relation to the application, so that the reader can easily transfer them to his own use cases. The chapter closes with important application recommendations for performing a discriminant analysis.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Backhaus
  • Bernd Erichson
  • Wulff Plinke
  • Rolf WeiberEmail author
  1. 1. Marketing Center MünsterWWU MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2. Otto von Guericke University MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  3. 3. European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) Berlin, Germany
  4. 4. Marketing, Innovation & E-BusinessUniversity Trier-TrierGermany