Cluster Analysis Introductory Overview - Area of Application

Clustering techniques have been applied to a wide variety of research problems. Hartigan (1975) provides an excellent summary of the many published studies reporting the results of cluster analyses. For example, in the field of medicine, clustering diseases, cures for diseases, or symptoms of diseases can lead to very useful taxonomies. In the field of psychiatry, the correct diagnosis of clusters of symptoms such as paranoia, schizophrenia, etc. is essential for successful therapy. In archeology, researchers have attempted to establish taxonomies of stone tools, funeral objects, etc. by applying cluster analytic techniques. In general, whenever one needs to classify a "mountain" of information into manageable meaningful piles, cluster analysis is of great utility.

See also Exploratory Data Analysis and Data Mining Techniques.