**Correspondence Analysis**

**Correspondence analysis (CA)** is a multivariate statistical technique proposed by Hirschfeld and later developed by Jean-Paul Benzécri. It is conceptually similar to principal component analysis, but applies to categorical rather than continuous data. In a similar manner to principal component analysis, it provides a means of displaying or summarising a set of data in two-dimensional graphical form.

All data should be nonnegative and on the same scale for CA to be applicable, and the method treats rows and columns equivalently. It is traditionally applied to contingency tables — CA decomposes the chi-squared statistic associated with this table into orthogonal factors. Because CA is a descriptive technique, it can be applied to tables whether or not the chi-square statistic is appropriate. Several variants of CA are available, including detrended correspondence analysis and canonical correspondence analysis. The extension of correspondence analysis to many categorical variables is called multiple correspondence analysis. An adaptation of correspondence analysis to the problem of discrimination based upon qualitative variables (i.e., the equivalent of discriminant analysis for qualitative data) is called discriminant correspondence analysis or barycentric discriminant analysis.

In the social sciences, correspondence analysis, and particularly its extension multiple correspondence analysis, was made known outside France through French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu's application of it.

Read more about Correspondence Analysis: Implementations

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