What Is Discriminant Analysis? An Overview With Guidelines?

Researchers throughout the world employ discriminant analysis. It is a crucial statistical method. Its usage is common in pattern recognition and classification of variables. As the name implies, it is a technique for categorising or discriminating the results. It is a multivariate technique for isolating the factors that set certain groups apart. The method identifies the factors that distinguish between categorical groups that are mutually exclusive. This article by TheAcademicPapers.co.uk will give you an overview of discriminant analysis and provide the guidelines for conducting it.

Definition Of Discriminant Analysis

I uncovers a collection of prediction models centred on independent variables to categorise people into categories. Finding a predictive equation for categorising new persons or deciphering the predictive equation to fully understand the linkages among the variables are the two possible goals of discriminant analysis. It is similar to multiple regression analysis in many respects.

Regression analysis operates with a continuous dependent variable, whereas discriminant analysis requires a discrete dependent variable. It is the major distinction between these two methodologies. Regression analysis and discriminant analysis share a similar methodology. The group variable is plotted against each indepentdent variable. You frequently go through a variable selection process to choose the useful independent variables. To ascertain the precision of the discriminant equations, you perform a residual analysis.

When Should You Use Discriminant Analysis?

You can use the discriminant analysis when the dependent variable is categorical, and the independent variable is of an interval type. A categorical dependent variable means that the dependent variable has multiple separate categories. For example, three brands of shoes, Nike, Puma and Reebok, are the categorical dependent variables. The goal of discriminant analysis is to create discriminant functions. These functions cater to the differentiation between the categories of the dependent variable. It helps researchers determine whether meaningful variations exist between the groups. It also helps researchers examine the validity of the classification.

The usage of discriminant analysis depends upon the number of categories in a dependent variable. Two-group analysis is useful when the dependent variable possesses two categories. Multiple analysis is appropriate, involving more than two dependent variable categories. Two group analyses can lead to the derivation of one discriminant function. On the other hand, multiple analyses can lead to the derivation of more than one discriminant function.

For example, you can use discriminant analysis to understand the differences between consumption patterns of different groups. It could be a classification based on two age groups: young and older people. You can also use it to understand the behavioural patterns of consumers who are sensitive to price and those who are not sensitive to price.

What Is The Relationship Between Discriminant Analysis, Regression Analysis And Analysis Of Variance?

It has a significant relationship with regression analysis and analysis of variance. There are a lot of similarities and differences between the three methods. There is only one dependent variable in all three types of analysis; however, the number of independent variables is multiple in discriminant analysis. Independent variables are categorical in Analysis of Variance, but regression and discriminant analysis have independent metric variables.

What Are The Assumptions In Discriminant Analysis?

It has the following assumptions:

  • The first assumption is independent variables have a normal distribution.
  • The variations between categories are considered to be constant across predictor levels. Despite the fact that this presumption is essential for linear discriminant analysis, quadratic discriminant analysis is more adaptable and suitable in certain circumstances. To regulate the dispersion, you can also check for outliers and alter the variables.
  • Another assumption is that predictor variables are independent. If any correlation exists between predictor variables, it reduces the validity of the analysis. The simple solution is to eliminate the variables.
  • It also assumes that samples are independent. Therefore, the analysis entails selecting a sample size from a large population.

How To Conduct Discriminant Analysis?

Formulate the Problem

What is the goal of discriminant analysis? It is the first question you must respond to. Then, determine the independent factors and the outcome categories that support this goal. You can choose the independent variables based on the knowledge gained from earlier studies in the field. You must utilise your understanding of the issue as well.

Choose A Large Sample Size

Large sample size is essential for discriminant analysis. You must choose a large sample size to ensure the internal and external validity of the results. The sample must be representative of the entire population. You can use random sampling techniques to ensure that each member of the population has an equal chance of representation.

Division Of Sample Into Groups

The next step entails dividing the sample into two categories: analysis and validation. The analysis sample is useful for computing the discriminant function. On the other hand, a validation sample is appropriate for verifying the results. It is important to ensure cross-validation of samples through an exchange between them.

Identify The Discriminant Function

You can identify the discriminant function by using the two methods. One is the direct method, and another is a step-wise method. The direct method involves the inclusion of all variables and measuring their coefficients. The step-wise method entails including variables one by one based on each variable’s capacity for classification.

Identify The Significance Of Classification.

The next step entails determining the significance of classification. It is important to ensure whether significant differences exist between dependent variables. You can determine this by using the eigenvalue function. If the eigenvalue is higher, the classification or differences are significant.

Analyse the Results

The next step involves the analysis of the results. You can evaluate the impact of each independent variable based on its coefficient. An independent variable that has a higher coefficient value has a significant impact on the discriminating function.

Validate the Results

The final steps involve cross-validation of the results. You can categorise the data based on the discriminant score and by computing the ratio of valid discriminations.


Discriminant analysis has useful implications for medical research. It helps researchers classify the diseases based on their severity. Banks can use it to determine the viability of loans to corporations and helps them make informed decisions. Pattern recognition requires discrimination and classification, and you can use the discriminant function to recognise trends and patterns. However, in case of any issue, you can hire best researchers by clicking here.

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