[R] gower distance calculation

Tyler Smith tyler.smith at mail.mcgill.ca
Mon Nov 20 04:47:15 CET 2006

Gavin Simpson wrote:

> vegdist in package vegan has Gower's distance, but all variables have to
> be numeric.

> If you want to use mixed data (numerics, factors, binary), see ?daisy in
> package cluster.

This is a little unclear. vegdist will handle regular quantitative
variables as well as binary variables. This is not so much a feature
of vegdist as of the Gower similarity, which treats binary and
quantitative variables identically, since a simple matching
coefficient produces the same similarity value as is produced by
Gower's  quantitative similarity function for a variable that can take
only two values.

Perhaps that's what you meant, and I just misunderstood you. Perhaps
I'm wrong, and someone will correct me!



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