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On the Performance of Information Criteria in Latent Segment Models

Authors: Jaime R. S. Fonseca


Nevertheless the widespread application of finite mixture models in segmentation, finite mixture model selection is still an important issue. In fact, the selection of an adequate number of segments is a key issue in deriving latent segments structures and it is desirable that the selection criteria used for this end are effective. In order to select among several information criteria, which may support the selection of the correct number of segments we conduct a simulation study. In particular, this study is intended to determine which information criteria are more appropriate for mixture model selection when considering data sets with only categorical segmentation base variables. The generation of mixtures of multinomial data supports the proposed analysis. As a result, we establish a relationship between the level of measurement of segmentation variables and some (eleven) information criteria-s performance. The criterion AIC3 shows better performance (it indicates the correct number of the simulated segments- structure more often) when referring to mixtures of multinomial segmentation base variables.

Keywords: Quantitative Methods, Multivariate Data Analysis, Clustering, Finite Mixture Models, Information Theoretical Criteria, Simulation experiments.

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