Date of Award

8-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Management Science

Major Professor

Kenneth C. Gilbert

Committee Members

Hamparsum Bozdogan, Kenneth B. Kahn, Charles E. Noon

Abstract

In this study, we develop algorithms to solve the Multi-Sample Cluster Analysis (MSCA) problem. This problem arises when we have multiple samples and we need to find the statistical model that best fits the cluster structure of these samples. One important area among others in which our algorithms can be used is international market segmentation. In this area, samples about customers’preferences and characteristics are collected from di¤erent regions in the market. The goal in this case is to join the regions with similar customers’characteristics in clusters (segments).

We develop branch and bound algorithms and a genetic algorithm. In these algorithms, any of the available information criteria (AIC, CAIC, SBC, and ICOMP) can be used as the objective function to be optimized. Our algorithms use the Clique Partitioning Problem (CPP) formulation. They are the first algorithms to use information criteria with the CPP formulation.

When the branch and bound algorithms are allowed to run to completion, they converge to the optimal MSCA alternative. These methods also proved to find good solutions when they were stopped short of convergence. In particular, we develop a branching strategy which uses a "look-ahead" technique. We refer to this strategy as the complete adaptive branching strategy. This strategy makes the branch and bound algorithm quickly search for the optimal solution in multiple branches of the enumeration tree before using a depth- first branching strategy. In computational tests, this method’s performance was superior to other branching methods as well as to the genetic algorithm.

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