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st: Similarity measure for categorical data

From   "Clarence C. Gravlee" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: Similarity measure for categorical data
Date   Wed, 24 May 2006 16:39:23 -0400

Dear Statlisters,

I have a standard person-by-variable dataset and would like to create a
person-by-person similarity matrix.  The data are multiple-choice type
format (a nominal variable with 4 categories).  I'd like to compute the
similarity matrix using a simple matching measure, where the coefficient
would be the proportion of times that two people agree exactly.

As I understand it, the simple matching coefficient available in Stata
assumes that the data are binary: [MV] measure_option says "Stata treats
nonzero values as one when a binary value is expected" (p. 362).

Is there a built-in function for calculating a more general matching
coefficient for nominal data?  If not, has anyone else programmed it?

Thanks for your time.

Lance Gravlee

Clarence C. Gravlee, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-7772
(850) 644-4754
(850) 645-0032 FAX 

Research Associate
Center for Demography and Population Health

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