The biological stimulus to multidimensional data analysis

Gower, John (2008). The biological stimulus to multidimensional data analysis. Electronic Journal for History of Probability and Statistics, 4(2)



In the following, I shall try to summarise developments over the past 100 years that have led to the current interest in data analysis and more particularly in multidimensional data analysis (see the Conclusion section for a discussion of these terms). Necessarily, my views are coloured by my own experience but I hope that some points of general interest will emerge. Developments may be divided into three periods: Prehistory (up to about 1950), The Early Computer Age (up to about 1980), and the current Later Computer Age. I shall concentrate on developments made during the first two periods and how they have influenced current practice. I conclude with some more general comments.

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