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# EuclideanDistance

raw,normalized,anddoublescaledcoefficients

September,2005
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EuclideanDistanceRaw,Normalised,andDoubleScaledCoefficients

Havingbeenfiddlingaroundwithdistancemeasuresforsometimeespeciallywithregardtoprofile
comparisonmethodologies,IthoughtitwastimeIprovidedabriefandsimpleoverviewofEuclidean
Distanceandwhysomanyprogramsgivesomanycompletelydifferentestimatesofit.Thisisnot
becausetheconceptitselfchanges(thatoflineardistance),butisduetothewayprograms/
investigatorseithertransformthedatapriortocomputingthedifference,normaliseconstituent
distancesviaaconstant,orrescalethecoefficientintoaunitmetric.However,fewactuallymake
absolutelyexplicitwhattheydo,andtheconsequencesofwhatevertransformationtheyundertake.
transformtherawdata,IthoughtittimeIexplainedthelogicofthis,andwhyIfeelsomeofthe
coefficientsusedwithinsomepopularstatisticalprogramsaresometimeslessthanoptimal(i.e.using
normalzscoretransformations).

RawEuclideanDistance
TheEuclideanmetric(anddistancemagnitude)isthatwhichcorrespondstoeverydayexperienceand
perceptions.Thatis,thekindof1,2,and3Dimensionallinearmetricworldwherethedistancebetween
anytwopointsinspacecorrespondstothelengthofastraightlinedrawnbetweenthem.Figure1
showsthescoresofthreeindividualsontwovariables(Variable1isthexaxis,Variable2theyaxis)

Figure1

Person_1
80

70 Person 1-3
euclidean
distance
Person 1-2
60
euclidean

Variable 2

distance
50

Person_2
40 Person 2-3
euclidean
distance Person_3
30

20

Variable 1
20 30 40 60 70 80 100
50

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ThestraightlinebetweeneachPersonistheEuclideandistance.Therewouldthisbethreesuch
distancestocompute,oneforeachpersontopersondistance.

However,wecouldalsocalculatetheEuclideandistancebetweenthetwovariables,giventhethree
personscoresoneachasshowninFigure2

Figure2

The Euclidean Distance between 2 variables

in the 3-person dimensional score space

Variable 1

Variable 2

TheformulaforcalculatingthedistancebetweeneachofthethreeindividualsasshowninFigure1is:

v
Eq.1 d ( p
i 1
1i p2i ) 2

wherethedifferencebetweentwopersonsscoresistaken,andsquared,andsummedforvvariables(in
ourexamplev=2).Threesuchdistanceswouldbecalculated,forp1p2,p1p3,andp2p3.

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Theformulaforcalculatingthedistancebetweenthetwovariables,giventhreepersonsscoringoneach
asshowninFigure1is:

p

Eq.2 d (v
i 1
1i v2i ) 2

wherethedifferencebetweentwovariablesvaluesistaken,andsquared,andsummedforppersons
(inourexamplep=3).Onlyonedistancewouldbecomputedbetweenv1andv2.
LetsdothecalculationsforfindingtheEuclideandistancesbetweenthethreepersons,giventheir
scoresontwovariables.ThedataareprovidedinTable1below

Table1
1 2
Var1 Var2
Person 1 20 80

Person 2 30 44

Person 3 90 40

Usingequation1

v
d ( p
i 1
1i p2i ) 2

Forthedistancebetweenperson1and2,thecalculationis:

## d (20 30) 2 (80 44) 2 37.36

Forthedistancebetweenperson1and3,thecalculationis:

## d (20 90) 2 (80 40) 2 80.62

Forthedistancebetweenperson2and3,thecalculationis:

## d (30 90) 2 (44 40) 2 60.13

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Usingequation2,wecanalsocalculatethedistancebetweenthetwovariables

p
d (v
i 1
1i v2i ) 2

## d (20 80) 2 (30 44) 2 (90 40) 2 79.35

Equation1isusedwheresaywearecomparingtwoobjectsacrossarangeofvariablesandtryingto
determinehowdissimilartheobjectsare(theEuclideandistancebetweenthetwoobjectstakinginto
accounttheirmagnitudesontherangeofvariables.Theseobjectsmightbetwopersonsprofiles,a
personandatargetprofile,infactbasicallyanytwovectorstakenacrossthesamevariables.

Equation2isusedwherewearecomparingtwovariablestooneanothergivenasampleofpaired
observationsoneach(aswemightwithapearsoncorrelation),Inourcaseabove,thesamplewasthree
persons.

Inbothequations,RawEuclideanDistanceisbeingcomputed.

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NormalisedEuclideanDistance
Theproblemwiththerawdistancecoefficientisthatithasnoobviousboundvalueforthemaximum
distance,merelyonethatsays0=absoluteidentity.Itsrangeofvaluesvaryfrom0(absoluteidentity)to
somemaximumpossiblediscrepancyvaluewhichremainsunknownuntilspecificallycomputed.Raw
Euclideandistancevariesasafunctionofthemagnitudesoftheobservations.Basically,youdontknow
fromitssizewhetheracoefficientindicatesasmallorlargedistance.

IfIdividedeverypersonsscoreby10inTable1,andrecomputedtheeuclideandistancebetweenthe
Likewise,8.06forperson1and3,and6.01forpersons2and3.Therawdistanceconveyslittle

So,raweuclideandistanceisacceptableonlyifrelativeorderingamongstafixedsetofprofileattributes
isrequired.But,evenhere,whatdoesafigureof37.36actuallyconvey.Ifthemaximumpossible
canbe.But,ifthemaximumobservabledistanceis1000,thensuddenlyavalueof37.36seemsto
indicateaprettygooddegreeofagreementbetweentwopersons.

Thefactofthematteristhatunlessweknowthemaximumpossiblevaluesforaeuclideandistance,we
candolittlemorethanrankdissimilarities,withouteverknowingwhetheranyorthemareactually
similarornottooneanotherinanyabsolutesense.

AfurtherproblemisthatrawEuclideandistanceissensitivetothescalingofeachconstituentvariable.
Forexample,comparingpersonsacrossvariableswhosescorerangesaredramaticallydifferent.
Likewise,whendevelopingamatrixofEuclideancoefficientsbycomparingmultiplevariablestoone
another,andwherethosevariablesmagnituderangesarequitedifferent.

Forexample,saywehave10variablesandarecomparingtwopersonsscoresonthemthevariable
scoresmightlooklike

Table2

1 2
Person 1 Person 2
Var 1 1 2
Var 2 1 1
Var 3 4 5
Var4 6 6
Var5 1200 1300

Var6 3 3

Var7 2 2

Var8 3 5
Var9 2 3
Var10 8 8

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Thetwopersonsscoresarevirtuallyidenticalexceptforvariable5.TherawEuclideandistanceforthese
a110metricscale),wewouldhavescoresof1.2and1.3respectivelyforeachindividual.Theraw
Euclideandistanceisnow:2.65.

possibleEuclideandistancemightbeforthesedata.

ThisiswhereSYSTAT,Primer5,andSPSSprovideStandardization/Normalizationoptionsforthedataso

Systat10.2snormalisedEuclideandistanceproducesitsnormalisationbydividingeachsquared
discrepancybetweenattributesorpersonsbythetotalnumberofsquareddiscrepancies(orsample
size).

v
( p1i p2i ) 2
Eq.3 d
i 1 v

So,comparingtwopersonsacrosstheirmagnitudeson10variables,asintheTable3below,

Table3

1 2
Person 1 Person 2
Var 1 1 2
Var 2 1 1
Var 3 4 5
Var4 6 6
Var5 1.2 1.3
Var6 3 3
Var7 2 2
Var8 3 5
Var9 2 3
Var10 8 8

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Wecalculate

1 2 2 1 12 4 5 2 9 8 2
d ... 0.837
10 10 10 10

ForthedatainTable2,theSYSTATnormalizedEuclideandistancewouldbe31.634

Frankly,Icanseelittlepointinthisstandardizationasthefinalcoefficientstillremainsscalesensitive.
Thatis,itisimpossibletoknowwhetherthevalueindicateshighorlowdissimilarityfromthecoefficient
valuealone.

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Primer5anecological/marinebiologysoftware
packageallowsthecalculationofrawEuclidean
distanceaswellasanormalizedEuclideandistance.
But,thisnormalizationisproblematicwhenjusttwo
variablesorpersonsaretobecomparedtoone
anotherandthesearetheonlytwopersonsor
variablesinthedataset.

AnimmediateproblemisencounteredwhentryingtoanalysethedatainTables2or3causesanerror
message

ThisisduetothefactthatPrimer5isactuallystandardizingeachrowofdatainthefilehence,when
twovaluesareequal,asforvariables2,4,6,7etc.,thereisnovariance,nostandarddeviationoritisset

ImodifiedthedatainTable3toallowunequalvaluesoneachpairofvariablescoresforthetwo
persons

Table4

1 2
3 4
Person 1 - Row Person 2 - Row
Person 1 Person 2
Standardized Standardized

Var 1 1 2 -0.707106781 0.707106781

Var 2 1 2 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var 3 4 5 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var4 6 5 0.707106781 -0.707106781
Var5 1.2 1.3 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var6 3 4 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var7 2 3 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var8 3 5 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var9 2 3 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var10 8 7 0.707106781 -0.707106781

Whatweseeincolumns3and4iswhatPrimer5doeswiththedata(bystandardizingrows)

ItproducesanormalizedEuclideandistancecalculationof4.4721forthedataincolumns1and2.The
rawEuclideandistanceis3.4655

Ifwechangevariable5toreflectthe1200and1300valuesasinTable2,thenormalizedEuclidean
distanceremainsas4.4721,whilsttherawcoefficientis:100.06.So,itsnormalizationcertainlyensures
stabilityofcoefficientscalinggivenunequalmetricsoftheconstituentvariables,butthevalueitselfis

TechnicalWhitepaper#6:Euclideandistance September,2005

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variables,thenormalizedEuclideandistancewouldbe31.627.

Thereasonforthisisbecausewhateverthevaluesofthevariablesforeachindividual,thestandardized
valuesarealwaysequalto0.707106781!

LookatthefollowingdatainTable5below

Table5

1 2
3 4
Person 1 - Row Person 2 - Row
Person 1 Person 2
Standardized Standardized

Var 1 220 1060 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var 2 1 900 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var 3 23 598 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var4 2000 2 0.707106781 -0.707106781
Var5 109756 2.345678 0.707106781 -0.707106781
Var6 3 4 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var7 2 3 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var8 3 5 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var9 2 3 -0.707106781 0.707106781
Var10 8 7 0.707106781 -0.707106781

Theraweuclideandistanceis109780.23,thePrimer5normalizedcoefficientremainsat4.4721.

ItsclearthatPrimer5cannotprovideanormalizedEuclideandistancewherejusttwoobjectsarebeing
comparedacrossarangeofattributesorsamples.Itseemstoworkonlywheremorethantwoobjects
permitsdifferentiationofvaluesforsamplesorvariablessuchthatcoefficientsmaybecalculated.Asa

Table6

Euclidean Stats Corner document test Euclidean
data fileStats Corner document test data file
1 2 3 1 2 3
Person 1 Person 2 Person 3 Row Std Person 1 Row Std Person 2 Row Std Person 3

Var 1 1 2 4 -0.872871561 -0.21821789 1.09108945
Var 2 1 2 44 -0.597603281 -0.556857602 1.15446088

Var 3 4 5 23 -0.623479686 -0.529957733 1.15343742
-0.560118895 -0.594411889 1.15453078
Var4 6 5 56
Var5 1200 1300 1000 0.21821789 0.872871561 -1.09108945
Var6 3 4 34 -0.605500506 -0.548734834 1.15423534
Var7 2 3 56 -0.593459912 -0.561089372 1.15454928
Var8 3 5 2 -0.21821789 1.09108945 -0.872871561
Var9 2 3 3 -1.15470054 0.577350269 0.577350269
Var10 8 7 7 1.15470054 -0.577350269 -0.577350269

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TheRowStandardizedvaluesforeachvariableareshownasthelast3variables.

ThenormalisedEuclideandistancebetween:
Persons1and2isnow2.9304(was4.4721whenjusttwopersonsinthefile)
Persons1and3is5.2268
Persons2and3is4.9085

Theactualrawdataneverchangedbutthedistancemeasuredoes,solelyasafunctionofthe
transformation.

So,sinceonmanyoccasionswemightbetryingtoproducepairwisecoefficientsforranking,direct
comparisons,orprofilingetc.,itseemsPrimer5isjustnotbuiltforthesekindsofapplications.Also,the
normaliseddistancemeasureitselfwillchangeasafunctionofhowmanyobjectstherearetobe
thatfile.Thenormalizationbyrowis,atfirstglance,asensiblewayofensuringthateachvariableis
youarenolongerexpressingEuclideandistancebetweenthedataathand,butofderived,transformed
valuesofthatdata.

TechnicalWhitepaper#6:Euclideandistance September,2005

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SPSSpermitsanumberoftransformationsofsimpleEuclideandistanceandallowsbothrow
standardization(normalisationinPrimer5)aswellascolumnstandardization.Notonlythat,butit
allowsforseveralothertransformationsofthedatapriortocomputingaEuclideandistance.Noformula
orexamplesaregivenofeachinanySPSSdocumentation;theeffectonacoefficientvalueisrelativeto
theparticulartransformationsought.Forexample,forthedatafileinTable7,

Table7

Euclidean Stats Corner document test data file
1 2
Person 1 Person 2
Var 1 1 2
Var 2 1 2
Var 3 4 5
Var4 6 5
Var5 1200 1300

Var6 3 4

Var7 2 3

Var8 3 5

Var9 2 3
Var10 8 7

usingthefollowingSPSSCorrelateDistancessettingswherethevariablesdenoteperson1and
person2

TechnicalWhitepaper#6:Euclideandistance September,2005

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weobtainaZscorestandardizeddataEuclideandistanceof0.008016.Here,thedatahavebeen
standardization,weobtainavalueof4.4721asperPrimer5.

Othertransformationsproduceothervalueswithlittlerationale.

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DoubleScaledEuclideanDistance
Whencomparingtwovariables/persons,whatwecandoistocalculatetheEuclideandistancefromdata
whichistransformedintoa01metricusingastrictlylinearmethod(ratherthannonlinear
normalisationstandardisation),thenrescaletheresultantEuclideandistancemeasureitselfintoa01
range,scalingitintoarangedefinedby0throughtothemaximumpossibledistanceobservable
betweenthetwovariables/persons.

Case1:Comparingtwovariablesorpersons,whereobservationsexistsacrossmanypersons/cases.
Inthecaseoftwovariableswhoseminimumandmaximumpossiblevaluesarefixed(eitherbyscale
boundsorphysicalpropertycharacteristics)orwhencomparingsaypersonsacrossvariables,eachof
whosemetricrangediffers,theneachvariablesmaximumobservablediscrepancywillneedtobe
calculatedandeachconstituentsquareddiscrepancyoftheEuclideandistancecalculationwillneedto
beinitiallynormalisedusingtheparticularmaximumobservablediscrepancy.Theresultingsquareroot
ofthesumofsquaredvaluesrepresentstherawEuclideandistanceofthesenormalisedvalues,whichin
turnisthenscaledtoametricbetween0and1.0(where1.0representsthemaximumdiscrepancy
betweenthetwovariablesscaledscores).Computationally,eachsquareddiscrepancyistransformed
intoa01range,usingasimplelinearconversionwekeepourrawdataasisandsimplyscalethe
squareddiscrepanciesforthevariablesintoa0to1.0range.

ComputationalstepsComparingtwopersons/objectsacrossmanyvariables

Step1:Determinethemaximumpossiblesquareddiscrepancyforeachvariablecomparisonusingthe
minimumandmaximumvaluesasspecified.Callthesevaluesmd.Eachvariablewillpossessaminimum
andmaximumsothemdforeachvariableisjust:

mdi=(Maximum for variable i Minimum for variable i)2

Step2.Computethesumofsquareddiscrepanciespervariable,dividingthroughthesquared
discrepancy(acrosspersons)foreachvariablebythemaximumpossiblediscrepancyforthatvariable.
ThentakethesquarerootofthesumtoproducethescaledvariableEuclideandistance.

v
Giventheformulainequation1: d ( p
i 1
1i p2i ) 2

itisnowmodifiedtoreflecttheoperationsinstep2

v
( p1i p2i ) 2
Eq.3 d1
i 1 mdi

whered1=thescaledvariableEuclideandistance
mdi=themaximumpossiblesquareddiscrepancypervariableiofvvariables.

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Step3.Computethescaledvaluefromstep3bydividingitby v ,wherev=thenumberofvariables.

v
( p1i p2i ) 2

i 1 mdi

Eq.4 d 2
v

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Example1:
Assumewehavetwopersonsonwhichweobservethefollowingobservations(Table4)

Euclidean Stats Corner document test data file
1 2
Person 1 Person 2

Var 1 1 2

Var 2 1 2

Var 3 4 5
Var4 6 5
Var5 1.2 1.3
Var6 3 4
Var7 2 3
Var8 3 5
Var9 2 3
Var10 8 7

Givenwehavepriorinformationwhichtellsusthateachvariablepossessesafixedminimumof0anda
fixedmaximumof10,thenthecalculationsareasfollows:

Step1:
Givenanyvariablesobservationscanpossess0astheminimum,and10asthemaximum,themaximum
possibleobservablesquareddiscrepancyisthus(010)^2=100foreachvariable.Theseareourmds.

Step2:
Computethesumofsquareddiscrepanciespervariable,dividingthroughthesquareddiscrepancy
(acrosspersons)foreachvariablebythemaximumpossiblediscrepancyforthatvariable.thesevalues
are:

Euclidean Stats Corner document test data file
3 4
1 2
Squared Scaled Squared
Person 1 Person 2
Discrepancy Discrepancy
Var 1 1 2 1 0.01
Var 2 1 2 1 0.01
Var 3 4 5 1 0.01
Var4 6 5 1 0.01
Var5 1.2 1.3 0.01 0.0001
Var6 3 4 1 0.01
Var7 2 3 1 0.01
Var8 3 5 4 0.04

Var9 2 3 1 0.01

Var10 8 7 1 0.01

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Step3:
SumtheScaledSquaredDiscrepancies,takethesquarerootofthesum,andthenscalethiscoefficient
intoa01metricbydividingthescaledEuclideandistanceby 10 =

0.1201
d2 0.10959
10

Notethatiftheminimumandmaximumforeachvariablewasbetween025,thenthedoublescaled
Euclideandistanced2=0.043838. ThisisareminderthattheEuclideandistanceisrelativethemaximum
possibledistancebetweenvariables.Thispointistakenupagaininthenextexample.

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Example2:

Assumewehavetwopersonsonwhichweobservethefollowingobservations(Table4)

Euclidean Stats Corner document test data file
1 2
Person 1 Person 2

Var 1 1 2

Var 2 1 2

Var 3 4 5
Var4 6 5
Var5 1.2 1.3
Var6 3 4
Var7 2 3
Var8 3 5
Var9 2 3
Var10 8 7

However,variables1and2haveminimumandmaximumvaluesof0and3,whilstvariable5hasa
minimumof1andamaximumof2.Theremainderhaveaminimumof0andamaximumof10.

Step1:Determinethemaximumpossiblesquareddiscrepancyforeachvariablecomparisonusingthe
minimumandmaximumvaluesasspecified.

3
1 2
Maximum Squared
Minimum Maximum
Discrepancy (md)
var1 0 3 9
var2 0 3 9
var3 0 10 100
var4 0 10 100
var5 1 2 1
var6 0 10 100
var7 0 10 100

var8 0 10 100

var9 0 10 100
var10 0 10 100

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Step2:
Computethesumofsquareddiscrepanciespervariable,dividingthroughthesquareddiscrepancy
(acrosspersons)foreachvariablebythemaximumpossiblediscrepancyforthatvariable.thesevalues
are:

Euclidean Stats Corner document test data file
3 4
1 2
Squared Scaled Squared
Person 1 Person 2
Discrepancy Discrepancy
Var 1 1 2 1 0.111111111
Var 2 1 2 1 0.111111111
Var 3 4 5 1 0.01
Var4 6 5 1 0.01
Var5 1.2 1.3 0.01 0.01
Var6 3 4 1 0.01

Var7 2 3 1 0.01

Var8 3 5 4 0.04
Var9 2 3 1 0.01
Var10 8 7 1 0.01

Step3:
SumtheScaledSquaredDiscrepancies,takethesquarerootofthesum,andthenscalethiscoefficient
intoa01metricbydividingthescaledEuclideandistanceby 10 =

0.332222
d2 0.18227
10

Note,thedistanceisnowlargerthaninexample1becausetherangesofvariables1,2,and5arenow
withina010potentialrange.

Whichbringshometheissueofrelativityofthedistancetoapredefinedmetricspace.Thedistanceis
relativetoamaximumpossibledistanceof4willbelargerthanthesamedistancebetweentwo
variableswhosemaximumdiscrepancyis400.Thislinearscalingembodiespreciselytheconceptof
Euclideandistance,butrelativetoabsolutemaximumdistance.

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Whatifyoudontknowtheminimumormaximumvaluesforavariable?
Goodquestion.Allyoucandoisuseyourbestestimate.Oneoptionissimplytousetheobserved
minimumandmaximumforeachvariableinyourdatasetbutifusingseveraldatafilesorblocksof
dataonthesamevariableswiththeaimofmakingcomparisonsbetweenthem(intermsof
distance/similarityanalysis),thenyoushouldreallysetafixedminimumandmaximumforeachvariable
whichwillpermitaunifiedmetricscaletobeappliedtoallsuchvariables.

Forexample,inamarinebiologystudyusingvariablessuchasDepthortemperatureofwaterat
whichnumbersoffisharefound;youwouldhavetodecidewhatmightbethelowestvaliddepthor
temperatureatwhichyoumightmakeanyobservations(say0metersor0degC,throughto40meters
and25degreesC).Thevalidityofthesefigureswillbeprovidedbylogic,theory,andcommonsense.

Thechoiceyoumakewilldeterminethescalingconstantforthevariables.

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StillwithinCase1:Comparingtwovariablesorpersons,whereobservationsexistsacrossmany
persons/cases,letslookatComparingtwovariablesacrossmanypersons/observations.

ComputationalstepsComparingtwovariablesacrossmanypersons/observations

Step1:Determinethemaximumpossiblesquareddiscrepancyforeachvariablecomparisonusingthe
minimumandmaximumvaluesasspecified.Callthesevaluesmd.Becauseeachvariablesminimumand
maximumvalueswillbedifferent,andneitherminimumneednecessarilybe0.0,asimpledecision
algorithmisrequiredtodeterminethemaximumdiscrepancy.Given

minv1=minimumvalueforvariable1 maxv1=maximumvalueforvariable1
minv2=minimumvalueforvariable2 maxv2=maximumvalueforvariable2

Thenthemaximumdiscrepancyisgivenby:
if(abs(maxv2minv1))<=(abs(maxv1minv2))then
md=(maxv1minv2)2
else
md=(maxv2minv1)2

*Notethatmdactsasaconstanthere.

Step2.Computethesumofsquareddiscrepanciesperobservation,dividingthroughthesquared
discrepancyforeachpairofobservationsbythemaximumpossiblediscrepancyobservablegiventhese
twovariables.ThentakethesquarerootofthesumtoproducethescaledvariableEuclideandistance.

p

Giventheformulainequation2: d (v
i 1
1i v2i )2

wherep=thenumberofpairedobservationsi = 1 to p

itisnowmodifiedtoreflecttheoperationsinstep2

p
(v1i v2i ) 2
Eq.3 d1
i 1 md
whered1=thescaledvariableEuclideandistance
md=themaximumpossiblesquareddiscrepancybetweenthesetwovariables

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Step3.Computethescaledvaluefromstep3bydividingitby p ,wherep=thenumberofpaired
observations

p
(v1i v2i )2

i 1 md

Eq.4 d 2
p

Example
Fortwovariables,with9observationsoneachvariable,andwheretheminimumvalueoneachvariable
is0,withthemaximumonvariable1of20,and40forvariable2.

Step1:Determinethemaximumpossiblesquareddiscrepancyforeachvariablecomparisonusingthe
minimumandmaximumvaluesasspecified.

if(abs(maxv2minv1))<=(abs(maxv1minv2))then
md=(maxv1minv2)2
else
md=(maxv2minv1)2

Which,whenweuseouractualvalues

if(abs(400))<=(abs(200))then
md=(200)2
else
md=(400)2

whichmeansthatmdinthisexampleis1600.

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Step2.Computethesumofsquareddiscrepanciesperobservation,dividingthroughthesquared
discrepancyforeachpairofobservationsbythemaximumpossiblediscrepancyobservablegiventhese
twovariables.ThentakethesquarerootofthesumtoproducethescaledvariableEuclideandistance.

Therelevantdataare

Simulation dataset
3 4
1 2
Squared Scaled Squared
Variable 1 Variable 2
Discrepancy Discrepancy
1 9 10 1 0.000625
2 11 10 1 0.000625
3 11 10 1 0.000625
4 10 23 169 0.105625
5 10 34 576 0.36

6 10 12 4 0.0025
7 11 5 36 0.0225
8 9 32 529 0.330625
9 10 17 49 0.030625

Step3.Computethescaledvaluefromstep3bydividingitby p ,wherep=thenumberofpaired
observations

SumtheScaledSquaredDiscrepancies,takethesquarerootofthesum,andthenscalethiscoefficient
intoa01metricbydividingthescaledEuclideandistanceby 9 =

0.85375
d2 0.307995
9

TechnicalWhitepaper#6:Euclideandistance September,2005

f
http://www.pbarrett.net/techpapers/euclid.pdf 24 of26

Case2:Comparingobservationstoatargetprofile,whereafixedarrayofvaluesareusedasthetarget
profile.
Whencomparingpersonstosayafixedtargetofvariablevalues(asinpersontargetprofiling),thenthe
maximumdiscrepancypervariableisafunctionofthetargetvalue,aswellastheupperandlower
bounds.Asabove,eachvariablespermissiblerangedeterminesthescalingfactorbutbecausethe
targetvaluesarefixed,andbecausethecomparisonisthusconstrainedbythesevalues,thepotential
combinationsofvaluesonbothvariablesisactuallyconstrainedbythefixedtarget.Ineffect,the
profilevariablevalues.

Letstakethefollowingdataset

Person-Target Profiling example - Double-scaled Euclidean

2
1 3 4
Comparison
Target Profile Minimum for var Maximum for var
Profile
Extraversion 10 12 0 24
Conscientiousness 15 17 0 24
Days Absenteeism 1 3 0 10
Gallup Score 40 33 12 60
Communication Rating 4 3 1 5
Accident History 1 0 0 5

Performance Rating 70 92 0 100

Verbal Ability 15 17 0 32
Abstract Ability 12 19 0 24
Numerical Ability 10 13 0 28

Whatweseeisatargetprofiletakenoveramixtureof10personalattributes,ratings,andbehavioural
criteria(youalsoimmediatelyseetheprobleminusingmixedvariableprofilesinthatyouactually
needtocombinedistancemetricswithdecision/threshold/boundtypestatements).

Notethattheminimumandmaximumvalueisdifferentforalmosteveryvariable.

Whatwedofirstistocomputethemaximumsquareddiscrepancyforeachvariable,takingintoaccount
thatacomparisonprofilevaluecanonlydifferfromthetargetvalue,andnottheminimumormaximum
variablevalue.So,themaximumdiscrepancyisbetweenthetargetvalueandtheminimumormaximum
valueforavariable,whicheveristhelarger.

Forexample,fromtheabovedata,withourtargetvalueforvariable1as10,andaminimumand
maximumvalueforthatvariableas0and24,thenthemaximumdiscrepancyobservableisthelargerof

abs(targetminimumvariablevalue)orabs(targetmaximumvariablevalue)

Inourexample,thistranslatesto:abs(100)=10orabs(1024)=14

Theruleistochoosethelargerofthetwodiscrepancies.Thus,ourmaximumdiscrepancyis14,which
whensquaredis196.

TechnicalWhitepaper#6:Euclideandistance September,2005

f
http://www.pbarrett.net/techpapers/euclid.pdf 25 of26

Thatis,ourcomparisonprofilevaluecanvarybetween0and24,butthemaximumpossiblediscrepancy
whichcanbeobservedbetweenthetargetandacomparisonprofilevalueisactuallybetween10and24
(becausethetargetvalueisinfactfixed,whilstthecomparisonprofileswithobservationsonthis
variablecanvarybetween0and24).

Ifwedothecalculationsforthemaximumdiscrepancieswehave

Person-Target Profiling example - Double-scaled Euclidean
2 3
1 4 5
Target Profile
Comparison Maximum
Minimum for var Maximum for var
Profile Discrepancy

Extraversion 10 12 196 0 24
Conscientiousness 15 17 225 0 24
Days Absenteeism 1 3 81 0 10

Gallup Score 40 33 784 12 60
Communication Rating 4 3 9 1 5
Accident History 1 0 16 0 5
Performance Rating 70 92 4900 0 100
Verbal Ability 15 17 289 0 32
Abstract Ability 12 19 144 0 24

Numerical Ability 10 13 324 0 28

v
(ti ci ) 2
Eq.5 d1
i 1 mdi

wheret=thetargetprofilevariablevalue
c=thecomparisonprofilevariablevalue
d1=thescaledvariableEuclideandistance
mdi=themaximumpossiblesquareddiscrepancypervariableiofvvariables.

Step3.Computethescaledvaluefromstep3bydividingitby v ,wherev=thenumberofvariables.

v
(ti ci ) 2

i 1 mdi

Eq.6 d 2
v

Thedatanowlooklike..

TechnicalWhitepaper#6:Euclideandistance September,2005

f
http://www.pbarrett.net/techpapers/euclid.pdf 26 of26

Person-Target Profiling example - Double-scaled Euclidean
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Target Comparison Maximum Squared Discrepancy Scaled Squared Minimum for Maximum for
Profile Profile Discrepancy (Target-Comparison) Discrepancy var var
Extraversion 10 12 196 4 0.0204081633 0 24
Conscientiousness 15 17 225 4 0.0177777778 0 24
Days Absenteeism 1 3 81 4 0.049382716 0 10
Gallup Score 40 33 784 49 0.0625 12 60
Communication Rating 4 3 9 1 0.111111111 1 5
Accident History 1 0 16 1 0.0625 0 5
Performance Rating 70 92 4900 484 0.0987755102 0 100
Verbal Ability 15 17 289 4 0.0138408304 0 32

Abstract Ability 12 19 144 49 0.340277778 0 24
Numerical Ability 10 13 324 9 0.0277777778 0 28

0.804352
Withthefinalcalculationas: d 2 0.283611
10

TheRawEuclideanDistanceis24.6779.

withunequalminimumsandmaximums,andnotusedPerson1(column1ofthedatafile)asafixed
thatwehaveexpandedthemaximumpossiblediscrepanciesusingtheabsoluteminimumsforeach
variabletodefinethemaximumdiscrepancy,ratherthanthepermissibleminimums(asperthetarget
values).

Again,thisexampleservestounderlinetheimportanceofdeterminingtheactualEuclideanspace

Torepeatmyownwordsfromabove..

Whichbringshometheissueofrelativityofthedistancetoapredefinedmetric
space.Thedistanceisalwaysrelativetothemaximumpossibledistancefortwo