, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 187–199

A monte carlo study of thirty internal criterion measures for cluster analysis

  • Glenn W. Milligan

DOI: 10.1007/BF02293899

Cite this article as:
Milligan, G.W. Psychometrika (1981) 46: 187. doi:10.1007/BF02293899


A Monte Carlo evaluation of thirty internal criterion measures for cluster analysis was conducted. Artificial data sets were constructed with clusters which exhibited the properties of internal cohesion and external isolation. The data sets were analyzed by four hierarchical clustering methods. The resulting values of the internal criteria were compared with two external criterion indices which determined the degree of recovery of correct cluster structure by the algorithms. The results indicated that a subset of internal criterion measures could be identified which appear to be valid indices of correct cluster recovery. Indices from this subset could form the basis of a permutation test for the existence of cluster structure or a clustering algorithm.

Key words

classificationnumerical taxonomypermutation tests

Copyright information

© The Psychometric Society 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glenn W. Milligan
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Management SciencesThe Ohio State UniversityColumbus