Journal of Classification

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 5–48 | Cite as

Metric and Euclidean properties of dissimilarity coefficients

  • J. C. Gower
  • P. Legendre


We assemble here properties of certain dissimilarity coefficients and are specially concerned with their metric and Euclidean status. No attempt is made to be exhaustive as far as coefficients are concerned, but certain mathematical results that we have found useful are presented and should help establish similar properties for other coefficients. The response to different types of data is investigated, leading to guidance on the choice of an appropriate coefficient.


Choice of coefficient Dissimilarity Distance Euclidean property Metric property Similarity 


Ce travail présente quelques propriétés de certains coefficients de ressemblance et en particulier leur capacité de produire des matrices de distance métriques et euclidiennes. Sans prétendre être exhaustifs dans cette revue de coefficients, nous présentons certains résultats mathématiques que nous croyons intéressants et qui pourraient être établis pour d'autres coefficients. Finalement, nous analysons la réponse des mesures de ressemblance face à différents types de données, ce qui permet de formuler des recommandations quant au choix d'un coefficient.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Gower
    • 1
  • P. Legendre
    • 2
  1. 1.Statistics DepartmentRothamsted Experimental StationHarpendenUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Départment de Sciences BiologiquesUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada

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