Introduction Mathematical Taxonomy

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CUP Archive, Apr 1, 1982 - Mathematics - 152 pages
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Taxonomy comprises a broad variety of activities related to the construction of classificatory systems. Over the past several years, the development of numerical and mathematical techniques designed to produce more objective results has transformed the field. This text offers students of mathematical biology an introduction to modern methods of taxonomy. Starting with an introduction to the philosophy and aims of numerical taxonomy, the text considers taxonomic characters and the measurement of similarity. An analysis of principal components presents geometric and mathematical interpretations; other chapters explore multidimensional scaling, cluster analysis, identification and assignment techniques, and the construction of evolutionary trees. Each of the eight major sections concludes with a helpful summary of its contents. In addition to its value to undergraduates, this text should also prove practical for postgraduate students and researchers interested in taxonomy and in the use of numerical methods in evolutionary studies. A familiarity with matrix algebra and elementary statistics are the sole prerequisites. Book jacket.

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Taxonomic characters
The measurement of similarity
Principal components analysis
Multidimensional scaling
Cluster analysis
The construction of evolutionary trees
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