The Methodology of Q-Analysis Applied to Social Systems

  • Ronald H. Atkin
Part of the Frontiers in Systems Research book series (FRSR, volume 2)


Some of the methodological consequences of using the basic notion of set-membership to define “scientific” or “hard” data are discussed in this chapter. Chiefly because of the Russell theory of types (but not exclusively because of that), a need exists for a well-defined hierarchy of data sets. Such a hierarchy is defined in terms of cover sets (rather than by partitions) and is expressed by a set of mathematical relations between the finite data sets. The structure of the data is then identified by the simplicial complexes that represent these relations, and these will contain the static backcloth, S(N),for that data. Some simple connectivity properties of a typical complex are listed, and an illustration of the methodological technique is provided by examples taken from an earlier study of an area in the town of Southend-on-Sea and from a current regional project. The importance of the structure (q-connectivities) for the dynamics of (generalized) traffic on the backcloth, S(N), is then examined and critically compared with regression analysis.


Simplicial Complex Hard Data Light Industry Private Service Street Location 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

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  • Ronald H. Atkin

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