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Achieving Consensus in Cluster Ensemble Analysis (2009)

Cluster Ensemble Analysis is a relatively new technique to market researchers. The process involves combining existing cluster or segmentation solutions (an ensemble of candidate segmentation solutions) to produce a consensus solution that has stronger characteristics than any of the separate candidate solutions.

Retzer et al. from Maritz test different approaches to developing consensus solutions: Direct Approach, Feature Based Approach, Pair-Wise Approach, and the Sawtooth Software method as implemented in CCEA software. The authors conclude: "It's clear from the results that, for these data, the Direct and Sawtooth approaches outperform all others." They also demonstrate a graphical method to depict ensemble diversity. It's important that the candidate solutions in the ensemble be of good quality, and it is also important that they be diverse. The authors comment that the CCEA software "proved quite capable of handling the difficult and critical task of generating a diverse ensemble."

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