Publication Details

Eugster, M. & Leisch, F. (2009). From Spider-man to Hero - archetypal analysis in R. Journal of Statistical Software, 30 (8), 1-23.


Archetypal analysis has the aim to represent observations in a multivariate data set as convex combinations of extremal points. This approach was introduced by Cutler and Breiman (1994); they defined the concrete problem, laid out the theoretical foundations and presented an algorithm written in Fortran. In this paper we present the R package archetypes which is available on the Comprehensive R Archive Network. The package provides an implementation of the archetypal analysis algorithm within R and different exploratory tools to analyze the algorithm during its execution and its final result. The application of the package is demonstrated on two examples.

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Journal of Statistical Software