The usefulness of robust multivariate methods: A case study with the menu items of a fast food restaurant chain




Multivariate statistics, Data science, Robust principal component analysis, Robust cluster analysis, Data visualization, Multivariate outlier detection


Multivariate statistical methods have been playing an important role in statistics and data analysis for a very long time. Nowadays, with the increase in the amounts of data collected every day in many disciplines, and with the raise of data science, machine learning and applied statistics, that role is even more important. Two of the most widely used multivariate statistical methods are cluster analysis and principal component analysis. These, similarly to many other models and algorithms, are adequate when the data satisfies certain assumptions. However, when the distribution of the data is not normal and/or it shows heavy tails and outlying observations, the classic models and algorithms might produce erroneous conclusions. Robust statistical methods such as algorithms for robust cluster analysis and for robust principal component analysis are of great usefulness when analyzing contaminated data with outlying observations. In this paper we consider a data set containing the products available in a fast food restaurant chain together with their respective nutritional information, and discuss the usefulness of robust statistical methods for classification, clustering and data visualization.


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Author Biographies

Paulo Jorge Canas Rodrigues, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salavador, BA

Professor de Estatísitca na Universidade Federal da Bahia

Rafael Almeida, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salavador, BA

Graduação em andamento em Estatística na Universidade Federal da Bahia

Kézia Mustafa, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salavador, BA

Graduação em andamento em Estatística na Universidade Federal da Bahia


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How to Cite

Rodrigues, P. J. C., Almeida, R., & Mustafa, K. (2020). The usefulness of robust multivariate methods: A case study with the menu items of a fast food restaurant chain. Ciência E Natura, 42, e17.



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