Gauthier, Jacques-Antoine
Widmer, Eric D.
Bucher, Philipp
Notredame, Cedric
How much does it cost? Optimization of costs in sequence analysis of social science data
Sociological Methods & Research
Sociological Methods & Research
Sociological Methods & Research
Sociological Methods & Research
38
1
sequence analysis
optimal matching
trajectories
empirical cost optimization
Optimal Matching Analysis
Acid Substitution Matrices
Cluster-Analysis
Career Patterns
Alignment
Proteins
Work
Constraints
Sociology
Agreement
2009
2009
One major methodological problem in analysis of sequence data is the determination of costs from which distances between sequences are derived. Although this problem is currently not optimally dealt with in the social sciences, it has some similarity with problems that have been solved in bioinformatics for three decades. In this article, the authors propose an optimization of substitution and deletion/insertion costs based on computational methods. The authors provide an empirical way of determining costs for cases, frequent in the social sciences, in which theory does not clearly promote one cost scheme over another. Using three distinct data sets, the authors tested the distances and cluster solutions produced by the new cost scheme in comparison with solutions based on cost schemes associated with other research strategies. The proposed method performs well compared with other cost-setting strategies, while it alleviates the justification problem of cost schemes.
SAGE Publications
0049-1241
Sociological Methods & Research
Journal Articles
10.1177/0049124109342065