Title: The identification of 'fuzzy profiles' through the c-means clustering

Authors: Silvestro Montrone; Paola Perchinunno

Addresses: Department of Business and Law Studies, University of Bari, Italy ' Department of Business and Law Studies, University of Bari, Italy

Abstract: The numerous concepts of socio-economic hardship are, furthermore, attributable to a traditional distinction between absolute and relative conditions of hardship. The options of scientific research were therefore oriented towards the establishment of a multi-dimensional approach, sometimes abandoning dichotomous logic in order to arrive at fuzzy classifications in which each unit belongs and, at the same time, does not belong, to a category. A multidimensional index that considers hardship as the overall condition of being disadvantaged and deprived seems the most appropriate in view of the socio-economic differential analysis of demographic phenomena. The approach used in this work to synthesise and measure the conditions of the hardship of a population is based on a clustering procedure (fuzzy c-means) aimed at outlining various not defined a priori profiles, which should be assigned to each family with different socio-economic behaviours. In comparison with conventional methods, this clustering method allows a set of data to belong not only to a main cluster but also to two or more clusters with 'fuzzy profiles'.

Keywords: fuzzy logic; family hardship; c-means custering; fuzzy clustering; fuzzy c-means; indicators; profiles; average; centre of cluster; standard of living; families; perceptions; socio-economic behaviours.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIDM.2015.069040

International Journal of Business Intelligence and Data Mining, 2015 Vol.10 No.1, pp.62 - 72

Available online: 21 Apr 2015 *

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