Discussion by R. Gnanadesikan
The author of this well-written and interesting paper is clearly that rare combination of someone at the interface between a substantive science (astronomy in this case) and statistics who feels comfortable with the languages, problems, and methodologies of both domains. Indeed, on balance, the paper’s contents are tilted toward multivariate statistical data analysis methods (perhaps motivated by a desire to communicate with statisticians in the audience) and exhibit a knowledge of not only the more classical techniques but also more recent developments. The author’s knowledge is far from superficial on these matters and the paper demonstrates a critical ability to sort through the methods and raise relevant questions about their value and limitations.
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