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Multidimensional Scaling (MDS)

Multidimensional scaling (MDS) is a technique for generating coordinate spaces from distance or (dis)similarity data. Consider, for instance, a distance chart such as one often found on a road map, containing the travel distances between towns and cities. If we had such a distance chart but not the associated map, MDS could be used to “re-create” the map of towns and cities. In an MDS, however, the distances in the chart do not have to be travel distances. They can be any sort of “distance,” such as the perceived differences between political candidates, differences between neighborhoods, art styles, technology companies, stocks, political parties, and so on. MDS uses these distances as input and attempts to construct the corresponding map. With MDS, one can create spatial ...

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