Clyde H. Coombs
Born: 22 July 1912
Died: 4 February 1988


Spring Semester AY2002-2003
Department of Political Science
University of Houston
Houston, TX, 77204-3011

Classroom: 344 PGH
Time: 1:00PM - 4:00PM Tuesdays

Instructor: Keith T. Poole

Office: 441A Hoffman Hall
WebSite: Voteview Home Page

The following texts will be used in this course:


This course is intended as an extension of POLS 6382 Advanced Multivariate Statistics. The emphasis will be on dimensional analysis, that is, the measurement of latent dimensions in data matrices. A working knowledge of OLS multiple regression analysis and STATA is required for this course. Students will be required to use two statistical packages -- R and WINBUGS (JAGS). We will also use a variety of "canned" programs that perform various kinds of dimensional analyses.

Grades will be determined by regularly assigned class problems.

Useful Links -- Multidimensional Scaling

2001 Homeworks

First Homework Assignment
Second Homework Assignment
Third Homework Assignment
Fourth Homework Assignment
Fifth Homework Assignment
Sixth Homework Assignment
Seventh Homework Assignment
Eighth Homework Assignment
Ninth Homework Assignment
Tenth Homework Assignment
Eleventh Homework Assignment

Course Outline

  1. A Geometric Theory of Data

    1. Clyde Coombs' Theory of Data: Similarities and Preferential Choice


      • Coombs, Chapter 1

      • Gill, Chapter 1

      • Borg and Groenen, Preface and Chapter 1

      • Carroll, J. Douglas and Phipps Arabie. 1980. "Multidimensional Scaling." Annual Review of Psychology. M. R. Rosenzweig and L. W. Porter, eds., vol. 31, 1980.

      • First Homework Assignment

    2. A Review of Linear Algebra

  2. Multidimensional Scaling: Introduction

    1. What Latent Dimensions are and Why they are Important


    2. An Introduction to Simple Unfolding Analysis

    3. Issue Scales and Perceptual Data


      • Aldrich, John H. and Richard D. McKelvey. 1977. "A Method of Scaling with Applications to the 1968 and 1972 Presidential Elections." American Political Science Review, 71:111-130.

      • Poole, Keith T. 2001. "The Relationship Between the Aldrich-McKelvey Scaling Solution and the Individual Differences Problem." Manuscript, University of Houston.

      • Sixth Homework Assignment

  3. Multidimensional Unfolding Analysis


  4. Why Are There So Few Dimensions?